Galactic hit-and-run collision spawns firestorm of starbirth in its wake – Astronomy Now

May 20, 2019 - Comment

Galaxy NGC 4485, situated some 25 million gentle years from Earth within the constellation Canes Venatici, apparently averted a direct hit throughout an encounter with a bigger galaxy tens of millions of years in the past, a glancing blow that triggered a firestorm of chaotic starbirth on one aspect and leaving the opposite aspect comparatively


Galaxy NGC 4485, situated some 25 million gentle years from Earth within the constellation Canes Venatici, apparently averted a direct hit throughout an encounter with a bigger galaxy tens of millions of years in the past, a glancing blow that triggered a firestorm of chaotic starbirth on one aspect and leaving the opposite aspect comparatively intact. Even so, the seemingly intact area exhibits indicators of a earlier spiral construction, a sign the galaxy was evolving usually prior to now. The offending galaxy within the obvious hit and run is NGC 4490, out of view on this picture. The 2 galaxies are actually separated by about 24,000 gentle years.

NGC 4485. Picture: NASA and ESA; Acknowledgment: T. Roberts (Durham College, UK), D. Calzetti (College of Massachusetts) and the LEGUS Group, R. Tully (College of Hawaii), and R. Chandar (College of Toledo)

For context, here’s a broad view of the 2 galaxies:

On this ground-based view, NGC 4485 is the smaller galaxy of the central pair. The bigger galaxy is NGC 4490. Picture: NASA, ESA, Digitized Sky Survey 2 (Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin)

And here’s a view of NGC 4490 from the Hubble Area Telescope:

The Hubble Area Telescope captured this view of NGC 4490’s central area. Picture: ESA/Hubble & NASA



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