News Release Archive:

News Release 372 of 1051

April 24, 2008 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2008-16

Cosmic Collisions Galore!


Image: Hubble Interacting Galaxy NGC 520

Hubble Interacting Galaxy NGC 520

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NGC 520 is the product of a collision between two disk galaxies that started 300 million years ago. It exemplifies the middle stages of the merging process: the disks of the parent galaxies have merged together, but the nuclei have not yet coalesced. It features an odd-looking tail of stars and a prominent dust lane that runs diagonally across the center of the image and obscures the galaxy. NGC 520 is one of the brightest galaxy pairs on the sky, and can be observed with a small telescope toward the constellation of Pisces, the Fish, having the appearance of a comet. It is about 100 million light-years away and about 100,000 light-years across. The galaxy pair is included in Arp's catalog of peculiar galaxies as Arp 157.

This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on 24th April 2008.

Object Names: NGC 520, Arp 157, VV 231, KPG 031

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and B. Whitmore (STScI)

Technical facts about this image:

About the Object
Object Name: NGC 520, Arp 157, VV 231, KPG 031
Object Description: Interacting Galaxies
Position (J2000): 01 24 35.42
+03 47 55.0
Constellation: Pisces
Distance: 100 million light-years (50 million parsecs)
About the Data
Data Description: The Hubble image was created using HST data from proposal 9735: B. Whitmore (STScI)
Instrument: ACS/WFC
Exposure Date(s): October 22, 2004
Exposure Time: 77 minutes
Filters: F435W (B), F555W (V), and F814W (I)
About the Image
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and B. Whitmore (STScI)
Release Date: April 24, 2008


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