Thursday, August 15, 2013

NGC 1232

NGC 1232: A collision between galaxies about 60 million light years from Earth.

A massive multimillion-degree cloud of gas has been revealed in X-ray data from Chandra (purple) that have been combined with optical data from the Very Large Telescope (blue and white) in this new composite image. The hot gas cloud is likely caused by a collision between a dwarf galaxy and a much larger galaxy called NGC 1232. If confirmed, this discovery would mark the first time such a collision has been detected only in X-rays, and could have implications for understanding how galaxies grow through similar collisions.

Scale: Image is 6.8 arcmin across (About 120,000 light years).

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Huntingdon Inst. for X-ray Astronomy/G.Garmire, Optical: ESO/VLT

Note: For more information, see NGC 1232: Dwarf Galaxy Caught Ramming Into a Large Spiral

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