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Compact Galaxy Groups Reveal Details of Their Close Encounters Image Gallery

More information about the images in this gallery can be found in NOAO Press Release 14-08.

HCG 07: Galaxies in this cluster are undergoing a burst of star formation, but no tidal tails. How many dwarf galaxies are hidden here? (This image covers an area about a third the size of the full moon.)

HCG 31: The tidal tails are clues to recent interactions, but no evidence of heated gas between the galaxies, as would be expected.

HCG 48: This group is dominated by a massive elliptical galaxy that has presumably formed by ingesting (astronomers refer to this as accreting) all of its neighbors.

HCG 59: Two interacting giants have released a giant stellar stream in this Compact Group, which also hosts a bursting irregular galaxy.

HCG 62: The brightest Compact Group in the X-ray spectrum, astronomers seek to understand how the galaxies which share a common halo will evolve.

HCG 79: Known as Seyfert’s Sextet, four of these galaxies are involved in an ongoing interaction. The fifth galaxy is in the background and the sixth is actually material released in the interaction, the best candidate for a tidal dwarf galaxy in the local Universe.

Images Credit: Dane Kleiner