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The Antennae Galaxies | by Terry Robison
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The Antennae Galaxies

The Antennae Galaxies are one of the youngest examples of colliding galaxies, as well as one of the nearest pairs of interacting galaxies to Earth. They are located in the constellation of Corus around 45 million light years away.

NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 were two separate galaxies some 1.2 billion years ago. The larger was a spiral galaxy, NGC 4039. The smaller galaxy was a barred spiral, NGC 4038.

 

About 600 million years ago, NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 passed through each other. At some point, they would have resembled the Mice Galaxies. Around 300 million years ago, the Antennae’s stars began to be released from both galaxies. These gravitational interactions have resulted in the long tails forming an antenna shape. Within the tails or streamers, areas of starburst activity exist.

 

Perhaps in the future, when our galaxy the Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxies come together, they may look similar to the Antennae during at least one point of their gravitational interaction.

 

Exposure Details:

Lum 41X900

Red 24X450

Green 24X450

Blue 36X450

Ha 13X1800

Total time 26.75 hours

 

Instruments Used:

10 Inch RCOS fl 9.1

Astro Physics AP-900 Mount

SBIG STL 11000m

FLI Filter Wheel

Astrodon Lum, Red, Green, Blue Filters

Baader Planetarium H-alpha 7nm Narrowband-Filter

 

 

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Uploaded on May 7, 2018