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Astro News: A galactic rose highlights Hubble's 21st anniversary

21 Apr 2011, 10:05 UTC
Astro News: A galactic rose highlights Hubble's 21st anniversary
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In celebration of the 21st anniversary of the Hubble Space Telescope’s deployment into space, astronomers pointed Hubble at an especially photogenic group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273.This image, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a group of interacting galaxies called Arp 273. The larger of the spiral galaxies, known as UGC 1810, has a disc that is tidally distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. The swathe of blue jewels across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars. These massive stars glow fiercely in ultraviolet light.The smaller, nearly edge-on companion shows distinct signs of intense star formation at its nucleus, perhaps triggered by the encounter with the companion galaxy.A series of uncommon spiral patterns in the large galaxy are a telltale sign of interaction. The large, outer arm appears partially as a ring, a feature that is seen when interacting galaxies actually pass through one another. This suggests that the smaller companion actually dived deeply, but off-centre, through UGC 1810. The inner set of spiral arms is highly warped out of the plane, with one of ...

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