Galactic collisions are not unknown and we have seen such collisions in pictures many times. However, we usually see two objects of this type interacting strongly with each other. Meanwhile, the Hubble Space Telescope Three galaxies were caught participating in this “dance”.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of an object classified under this name Arp-Madore 2339-661, about 500 million light-years away.. The image from the observatory shows two larger galaxies called NGC 7733 (in the lower right corner) and NGC 7734. They are in a cosmic embrace and are in the process of merging into a single object. If we look at the first galaxy more closely, we will see something else.
There is a small galaxy on one of NGC 7733’s spiral arms. It was named NGC 7733N and was absorbed by a larger one before it. Only the Hubble Space Telescope was able to penetrate the dense layers of dust and cosmic dust, revealing the presence of a smaller object.
“It could easily be considered part of NGC 7733, but analysis of the velocities (and also the direction) occurring in the galaxy shows that this node has a significant additional redshift, which means it is most likely a separate entity and not part of NGC 7733.” “This is actually one of the many challenges facing astronomers: determining whether an astronomical object is in fact just one object, or one object directly opposite another, as viewed from the perspective of Earth!” – We read in a statement by representatives of the European Space Agency
The galactic pair Arp-Madore 2339-661 is in the process of merging into a single body. NGC 7734 has a strong impact on its smaller companion, as seen in the image from the Hubble Space Telescope. The larger galaxy will absorb matter from the other galaxy, and this will eventually cause the two galaxies to merge into one.
The aforementioned objects are very close to each other and are located in the Toucan constellation in Earth’s southern sky. This pair is cataloged in the Arp-Madore Catalog of Strange Galaxies. It is worth noting that the Milky Way Galaxy has also absorbed other objects of this type in the past. We also know that over time this will be the fate of the Small and Large Magellanic Clouds.
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