NGC 6240

NGC 6240 is a peculiar, butterfly- or lobster-shaped galaxy consisting of two smaller merging galaxies. It lies in the constellation of Ophiuchus, the Serpent Holder, some 400 million light-years away. Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have disclosed two giant black holes, about 3,000 light-years apart, which will drift toward one another and eventually merge together into a larger black hole. The merging process triggered dramatic star formation and sparked numerous supernova explosions. The merger will be complete in some tens to hundreds of millions of years.

This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on 24th April 2008.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

About the Image

Id:heic0810ai
Type:Observation
Release date:24 April 2008, 15:00
Related releases:heic0810
Size:3468 x 3468 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 6240
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Interacting
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:400 million light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
Pseudogreen (B+I)
Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

Image Formats

Large JPEG
3.7 MB
Screensize JPEG
198.4 KB

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