When one plus one (eventually) equals one

Esahubble_potw2402a_1024

esahubble_potw2402a January 8th, 2024

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Dalcanton, Dark Energy Survey/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURAAcknowledgement: L. Shatz

This Hubble Picture of the Week features Arp 122, a peculiar galaxy that in fact comprises two galaxies — NGC 6040, the tilted, warped spiral galaxy and LEDA 59642, the round, face-on spiral — that are in the midst of a collision. This dramatic cosmic encounter is located at the very safe distance of roughly 570 million light-years from Earth. Peeking in at the corner is the elliptical galaxy NGC 6041, a central member of the galaxy cluster that Arp 122 resides in, but otherwise not participating in this monster merger. Galactic collisions and mergers are monumentally energetic and dramatic events, but they take place on a very slow timescale. For example, the Milky Way is on track to collide with its nearest galactic neighbour, the Andromeda Galaxy (M31), but these two galaxies have a good four billion years to go before they actually meet. The process of colliding and merging will not be a quick one either: it might take hundreds of millions of years to unfold. These collisions take so long because of the truly massive distances involved. Galaxies are composed of stars and their solar systems, dust and gas. In galactic collisions, therefore, these constituent components may experience enormous changes in the gravitational forces acting on them. In time, this completely changes the structure of the two (or more) colliding galaxies, and sometimes ultimately results in a single, merged galaxy. That may well be what results from the collision pictured in this image. Galaxies that result from mergers are thought to have a regular or elliptical structure, as the merging process disrupts more complex structures (such as those observed in spiral galaxies). It would be fascinating to know what Arp 122 will look like once this collision is complete . . . but that will not happen for a long, long time.  [Image Description: Two spiral galaxies are merging together at the right side of the image. One is seen face-on and is circular in shape. The other seems to lie in front of the first one. This galaxy is seen as a disc tilted away from the viewer and it is partially warped. In the lower-left corner, cut off by the frame, a large elliptical galaxy appears as light radiating from a point. Various small galaxies cover the background.] Links Pan: When one plus one (eventually) equals one

Provider: Hubble Space Telescope | ESA

Image Source: https://esahubble.org/images/potw2402a/

Curator: ESA/Hubble, Baltimore, MD, United States

Image Use Policy: Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Image Details

Image Type
Observation
Object Name
Arp 122 NGC 6040 NGC 6041
Esahubble_potw2402a_128
 

Position Details

Position (ICRS)
RA = 16h 4m 30.7s
DEC = 17° 44’ 57.2”
Orientation
North is 5.3° CW
Field of View
3.4 x 3.1 arcminutes
Constellation
Hercules

Color Mapping

  Telescope Spectral Band Wavelength
Blue Blanco-4m (DECam) Optical (g) 474.0 nm
Green Blanco-4m (DECam) Optical (r) 644.0 nm
Red Blanco-4m (DECam) Optical (z) 919.0 nm
Luminosity Hubble (ACS) Optical (V) 606.0 nm
Spectrum_base
Blue
Green
Red
Luminosity
Esahubble_potw2402a_1280
×
ID
potw2402a
Subject Category
Subject Name
Arp 122, NGC 6040, NGC 6041
Credits
ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Dalcanton, Dark Energy Survey/DOE/FNAL/DECam/CTIO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURAAcknowledgement: L. Shatz
Release Date
2024-01-08T06:00:00
Lightyears
Redshift
Reference Url
https://esahubble.org/images/potw2402a/
Type
Observation
Image Quality
Distance Notes
Facility
Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope, Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope, Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope, Hubble Space Telescope
Instrument
DECam, DECam, DECam, ACS
Color Assignment
Blue, Green, Red, Luminosity
Band
Optical, Optical, Optical, Optical
Bandpass
g, r, z, V
Central Wavelength
474, 644, 919, 606
Start Time
Integration Time
Dataset ID
None, None, None, None
Notes
Coordinate Frame
ICRS
Equinox
J2000
Reference Value
241.1277737467373, 17.749219607522658
Reference Dimension
4070.0, 3726.0
Reference Pixel
2035.0, 1863.0
Scale
-1.3874080990612862e-05, 1.3874080990612862e-05
Rotation
-5.3199999999999648
Coordinate System Projection:
TAN
Quality
Full
FITS Header
Notes
Creator (Curator)
ESA/Hubble
URL
https://esahubble.org
Name
Email
Telephone
Address
ESA Office, Space Telescope Science Institute, 3700 San Martin Dr
City
Baltimore
State/Province
MD
Postal Code
21218
Country
United States
Rights
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
Publisher
ESA/Hubble
Publisher ID
esahubble
Resource ID
potw2402a
Metadata Date
2024-01-23T08:01:57.446231
Metadata Version
1.1
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Detailed color mapping information coming soon...

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There is no distance meta data in this image.

 

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