HST Planetary Camera Images of Core of Peculiar Galaxy Arp 220 (Ground-based image vs. HST)

A ground-based telescopic photograph of the peculiar galaxy Arp 220 (image taken by K. Borne, H. Levison, and R. Lucas at USNO Flagstaff Station, Arizona) shows a curious double-lobed structure. This structure was first interpreted as two galaxies merging together, until subsequent observations with highly sensitive CCD detectors revealed a dust lane down the center which made the galaxy appear double lobed.

A "true-color" image of the central pan of the Arp 220 taken with the WFPC on the Hubble Space Telescope. HST reveals a new complex structure within one arc second of the nucleus. HST reveals a new class of object at the core: gigantic young star clusters which are ten times larger than clusters previously observed. They were probably produced by the collision of two spiral galaxies. Stars are produced at a furious rate from the raw dust and gas supplied by the collision.


E. Shaya, D. Dowling/U. of Maryland, the WFPC Team, and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:2 June 1992, 06:00
Size:2785 x 1773 px

About the Object

Name:Arp 220
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Irregular
• Local Universe : Galaxy : Component : Center/Core
Distance:250 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
1.7 MB
Screensize JPEG
175.8 KB

Colours & filters

555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
702 nm Hubble Space Telescope
785 nm Hubble Space Telescope

Notes: The right image was taken by K. Borne, H. Levison, and R. Lucas at USNO Flagstaff Station, Arizona.

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