Sunday, May 14, 2017

UGC 1810: Wildly Interacting Galaxy from Hubble

UGC 1810: Wildly Interacting Galaxy from Hubble:

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2017 May 10


See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.


UGC 1810: Wildly Interacting Galaxy from Hubble

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, HLA; Processing & Copyright: Domingo Pestana


Explanation: What's happening to this spiral galaxy? Although details remain uncertain, it surely has to do with an ongoing battle with its smaller galactic neighbor. The featured galaxy is labelled UGC 1810 by itself, but together with its collisional partner is known as Arp 273. The overall shape of the UGC 1810 -- in particular its blue outer ring -- is likely a result of wild and violent gravitational interactions. This ring's blue color is caused by massive stars that are blue hot and have formed only in the past few million years. The inner galaxy appears older, redder, and threaded with cool filamentary dust. A few bright stars appear well in the foreground, unrelated to UGC 1810, while several galaxies are visible well in the background. Arp 273 lies about 300 million light years away toward the constellation of Andromeda. Quite likely, UGC 1810 will devour its galactic sidekick over the next billion years and settle into a classic spiral form.

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