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Hubble sees cosmic 'flying v' of merging galaxies

Date:
February 15, 2013
Source:
NASA
Summary:
The Hubble Space Telescope has taken an image of a large "flying V" that is actually two distinct objects -- a pair of interacting galaxies known as IC 2184.

A pair of interacting galaxies known as IC 2184.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

The Hubble Space Telescope has taken an image of a large "flying V" that is actually two distinct objects -- a pair of interacting galaxies known as IC 2184.

Both the galaxies are seen almost edge-on in the large, faint northern constellation of Camelopardalis (The Giraffe), and can be seen as bright streaks of light surrounded by the ghostly shapes of their tidal tails.

These tidal tails are thin, elongated streams of gas, dust and stars that extend away from a galaxy into space. They occur when galaxies gravitationally interact with one another, and material is sheared from the outer edges of each body and flung out into space in opposite directions, forming two tails. They almost always appear curved, so when they are seen to be relatively straight, as in this image, it is clear that we are viewing the galaxies side-on.

Also visible in this image are bursts of bright blue, pinpointing hot regions where the colliding gas clouds stir up vigorous star formation. The image consists of visible and infrared observations from Hubble's Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA. "Hubble sees cosmic 'flying v' of merging galaxies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 February 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130215193958.htm>.
NASA. (2013, February 15). Hubble sees cosmic 'flying v' of merging galaxies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130215193958.htm
NASA. "Hubble sees cosmic 'flying v' of merging galaxies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/02/130215193958.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

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