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Hubble Watches an Intergalactic Dance

22 Oct 2021, 10:30 UTC
Hubble Watches an Intergalactic Dance ESA/Hubble and NASA, Dark Energy Survey, J. Dalcanton

This observation from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showcases Arp 86, a peculiar pair of interacting galaxies which lies roughly 220 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. Arp 86 is composed of the two galaxies NGC 7752 and NGC 7753 – NGC 7753 is the large spiral galaxy dominating this image, and NGC 7752 is its smaller companion. The diminutive companion galaxy almost appears attached to NGC 7753, and it is this peculiarity that has earned the designation β€œArp 86” – signifying that the galaxy pair appears in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies compiled by the astronomer Halton Arp in 1966. The gravitational dance between the two galaxies will eventually result in NGC 7752 being tossed out into intergalactic space or entirely engulfed by its much larger neighbor.

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