A tale of galactic collisions
When we look into the distant cosmos, the great majority of the objects we see are galaxies: immense gatherings of stars, planets, gas, dust, and dark matter, showing up in all kind of shapes. This Hubble picture registers several, but the galaxy catalogued as 2MASX J05210136-2521450 stands out at a glance due to its interesting shape.
This object is an ultraluminous infrared galaxy which emits a tremendous amount of light at infrared wavelengths. Scientists connect this to intense star formation activity, triggered by a collision between two interacting galaxies.
The merging process has left its signs: 2MASX J05210136-2521450 presents a single, bright nucleus and a spectacular outer structure that consists of a one-sided extension of the inner arms, with a tidal tail heading in the opposite direction, formed from material ripped out from the merging galaxies by gravitational forces.
The image is a combination of exposures taken by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, using near-infrared and visible light. A version of this image was submitted to the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Luca Limatola.
ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Luca Limatola
About the Image
|Release date:||6 May 2013, 10:00|
|Size:||1998 x 1998 px|
About the Object
|Type:||• Early Universe : Galaxy : Activity : Ultraluminous|
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
|Position (RA):||5 21 1.28|
|Position (Dec):||-25° 21' 40.56"|
|Field of view:||1.68 x 1.68 arcminutes|
|Orientation:||North is 26.2° left of vertical|
Colours & filters
|435 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|
|814 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|