Antennae Galaxies

Description

The Antennae Galaxies (also known as NGC 4038/NGC 4039 or Caldwell 60/Caldwell 61) are a pair of interacting galaxies in the constellation Corvus. The Antennae Galaxies are undergoing a galactic collision. Located in the NGC 4038 group with five other galaxies, these two galaxies are known as the Antennae Galaxies because the two long tails of stars, gas and dust ejected from the galaxies as a result of the collision resemble an insect's antennae.

The nuclei of the two galaxies are joining to become one giant galaxy. Most galaxies probably undergo at least one significant collision in their lifetimes. This is likely the future of our Milky Way when it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy. This collision and merger sequence (the Toomre sequence) for galaxy evolution was developed in part by successfully modeling the Antennae Galaxies' "antennae" in particular.

Five supernovae have been discovered in NGC 4038: SN 1921A, SN 1974E, SN 2004GT, SN 2007sr and SN 2013dk.

I created this image from raw data files taken by Hubble in 2016 and downloaded from the Hubble archive, this image is a combination of 3 narrowband images mapped to the Red, Green and Blue channels.

Image produced from raw data downloaded from MAST: the Barbara A. Mikulski Archive for Space Telescopes

Original image by ESA/Hubble, alignment, integration and colour mapping by Arc Fortnight.

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