Gemini South photographed the Galactic Quartet

The presented image was taken by the Gemini South telescope installed in Chile. It depicts a quartet of galaxies, known by the general designation NGC 6845.

Galaxy Quartet NGC 6845. Source: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/G. Gimeno, R. J. Díaz, H. Dottori

NGC 6845 is located at a distance of 270 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Telescopium. The quartet can be divided into two pairs. The galaxies in the upper part of the Gemini South image have a spiral structure and resemble our Milky Way. The two galaxies below the image are classified as lenticular.

Lenticular galaxies occupy an intermediate position between traditional spiral and elliptical systems. Such objects have the shape of a disk and a well-defined core. But at the same time, there are no traces of a spiral structure in them and they have already lost most of their interstellar gas.

Since the participants of NGC 6845 are close neighbors, they actively interact with each other. This interaction has already led to the fact that part of the matter was torn out of their limits, forming a kind of intergalactic bridge. They are dotted with bright clusters of recently formed hot stars.

It is also worth noting that, according to astronomers, gravitational interactions between the members of NGC 6845 in the future will lead to the fact that the two remaining spiral galaxies will also turn into lenticular.

Earlier we wrote about how Hubble photographed a strange galaxy with a giant ring.

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