Hubble image of galaxy pair Arp 116

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the peculiar galaxy pair called Arp 116.

Arp 116 is composed of a giant elliptical galaxy known as Messier 60, and a much smaller spiral galaxy, NGC 4647.

Astronomers have long tried to determine whether these two galaxies are actually interacting. Although they overlap as seen from Earth, there is no evidence of new star formation, which would be one of the clearest signs that the two galaxies are indeed interacting. However, recent studies of very detailed Hubble images suggest the onset of some tidal interaction between the two. 

Also included in the image, just below and to the right of M60, is their even smaller neighbour M60-UCD1.

M60-UCD1 is a very tiny galaxy, just 1/500th of the diameter of our Milky Way, that lies about 50 million light-years away. Despite its size, it is pretty crowded, with about 140 million stars crammed into its diameter of just 300 light-years. 

An international team of astronomers have found a supermassive black hole at the centre of M60-UCD1 with the mass of 20 million Suns.

Credit:

NASA, ESA 

About the Image

Id:heic1213a
Type:Observation
Release date:6 September 2012, 15:00
Related releases:heic1419, heic1213
Size:7373 x 6220 px

About the Object

Name:Arp 116, M 60, Messier 60, NGC 4647, NGC 4649
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Elliptical
• Local Universe : Galaxy : Grouping : Pair
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:50 million light years

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
850 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
B
475 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
B+V+I
Hubble Space Telescope

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