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Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Cosmic Exclamation Point!

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Hubble Space Telescope have collaborated to produce a fantastic image of two galaxies already interacting in the process of colliding! The purple colors represent x-ray data from Chandra. The red, green, and blue colors are optical data from Hubble.

Image Credit: X-ray NASA/CXC/IfA/D.Sanders et al; Optical NASA/STScI/NRAO/A.Evans et al
Sort of looks like an exclamation point, right?

These two galaxies are known as VV 340 (or Arp 302), and are about 450 million lightyears from Earth, a light year being about 6 trillion miles. VV 340 spans about 285,000 light years. The top galaxy is edge-on (VV 340 North) while the bottom one (VV 340 South) is pretty much face-on, a wonderful set of views.

And now, check out this narrated animation:

video

For more information and/or to see/download a higher res video and a variety of still-image sizes , just click the link below.
Happy galaxy gazing!



3 comments:

Ruthi aka abitosunshine said...

That is a pretty awesome exclamation point!

The Eclectic said...

I won't argue with that, Ruthi!! :-) Thanks for coming by!

Sandy Mertens said...

Love to see the universe in all the glory.