Hubble captures two galaxies in a cosmic danceNovember 14th, 2007 - 8:09 am ICT by admin
The pair is in the constellation Leo, the Lion, approximately 300 million light-years away from Earth.
NGC 3808, the larger of the two galaxies, is a nearly face-on spiral galaxy with a bright ring of star formation and several prominent dust arms. Its companion, NGC 3808A, is a spiral galaxy seen edge-on, surrounded by a rotating ring that contains stars and interstellar gas clouds.
The seemingly orchestrated ‘dance performance’ is because of the stars, gas, and dust that flow from NGC 3808 towards NGC 3808A, thus forming an enveloping arm around the latter.
Scientists say this is because of the prevalent gravitational pull that the larger galaxy exerts over the smaller.
As a result of this constant interaction, the shapes of both galaxies have been distorted by their gravitational interaction with one another, they say.
Scientists say, as seen in other mergers similar to Arp 87, the corkscrew shape of the tidal material or bridge of shared matter between the two galaxies suggests that some stars and gas drawn from the larger galaxy have been caught in the gravitational pull of the smaller one. (ANI)
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Tags: 300, companion ngc, constellation leo, cosmic dance, dance performance, galaxies, gravitational interaction, gravitational pull, halton arp, interstellar gas clouds, leo the lion, million light years, million light years away, nearby universe, scientists, seen edge, spiral galaxy, star formation