Spiral disk and globular star clusters at the core of a colliding galaxy

[Left] Ground-based Telescopic Photograph NGC 7252 has been considered the prototypical example of a merger between two disk-shaped galaxies. The galaxy has a pair of long tails that are unambiguous evidence of the effects of gravitational tidal forces from a galaxy merger. The galaxy is nicknamed the "Atoms-for-Peace" galaxy because its stars form a bizarre loop-like structure that resembles a schematic diagram of electrons orbiting an atomic nucleus. (In December 1953, U.S. President Dwight 0. Eisenhower made his "Atoms for Peace" speech to foster peaceful applications of nuclear energy.) The galaxy is located 300 million light-years away in the constellation Aquarius.

[Right] Hubble Space Telescope Planetary Camera Image of Galaxy CoreA NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of the core of the peculiar galaxy NGC 7252 reveals a striking "mini-spiral" disk of gas and stars, and about 40 exceptionally bright and young globular star clusters.


Dr. Francois Schweizer, taken with 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:25 May 1993, 06:00
Size:2323 x 1754 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS F22199-0422, NGC 7257
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Interacting
Distance:220 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
788.2 KB
Screensize JPEG
168.1 KB

Colours & filters

785 nm Hubble Space Telescope
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope

Notes: The left image was captured by the 4-meter telescope at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory.

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