Best of AOP - Galaxies

NGC 4038


Collision on the grandest scale. These two galaxies are in the process of colliding with each other. At a distance of 65 million light years away we have a good vantage point to view the action. In the nuclei of these galaxies gas and dust mix which dramatically color the light from the star forming regions of the interior. When unobscured the clouds of new stars are blue- but intervening dust and gas redden this light to produce the shades of yellow and brown in center. In addition (you will need to turn off the light in the room to see this) there are two arcs stretching away from the churning center of these galaxies. Each arc is comprised of millions of stars that have been flung into intergalactic space. Other famous interacting galaxies include M51 and NGC 4568.

Star map is navigable within this page.

Last Updated: 28-Mar-2014

Would you like to take pictures like this? Click here.

Sky Location:

About This Image

Click on image for larger version.


20in RC Optical Systems telescope Operating at f/5.5

Paramount ME Robotic Telescope Mount

SBIG ST10XME CCD camera with color filter wheel

LRGB color production was used to create this image.

This picture was taken under poor seeing conditions. One of these nights the atmosphere will steady for this

object! The problem is that this object is very low, even on the meridian.

Three iterations of L-R deconvolution (sharpening) algorithm using CCDsharp were applied to the luminance image.

Digital Development (DDP) via Maxim/DL was also used in order to display the very dim and very bright details of

the image simultaneously.

Luminance = 90 minutes binned 1x1

Red = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Green = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Blue = 20 minutes binned 2x2

Minimum credit line: Bob and Bill Twardy/Adam Block/NOAO/AURA/NSF