On the way to collision (photo)

The Hubble Mission team has released a new image. You can see two galaxies on it, which are on the way to collision.

Galaxies NGC 3558 (lower left) LEDA 83465 (top right). Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, M. West

Hubble’s image shows one of the sites of Abell 1185: a galactic cluster located 450 million light-years from Earth in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major. It is home to many galaxies that actively interact with each other through gravity. Such interaction sometimes leads to dramatic results, for example, to their complete rupture.

Galaxy NGC 3558, which can be seen in the lower left corner, escaped a similar fate. It is a large elliptical galaxy. Most likely, NGC 3558 acquired its current shape and size due to the absorption of smaller spiral galaxies, like LEDA 83465, which can be seen in the top right corner of the image. They are separated by a distance of 150 thousand light years. This is an unimaginably huge distance by human standards, but not so great by galactic standards. For comparison, the Andromeda galaxy, which is the nearest major neighbor of the Milky Way, is 2.5 million light-years away. From this point of view, the two galaxies photographed by Hubble are practically on top of each other.

LEDA 83465 is also classified as a LINER galaxy. This is the name of the type of galaxies with rather strong emission lines of elements in low ionization degrees observed in the spectra of their nuclei. Such objects are quite common. In general, this type of emission can occur for very different reasons, ranging from the activity of black holes and ending with the processes of star formation. The exact mechanism that leads to this weak ionization in NGC 3558 is still controversial among astronomers.

Earlier we talked about how the Hubble telescope captured a rare radio galaxy.

According to https://esahubble.org

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