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News Release Archive:

News Release 280 of 959

April 24, 2008 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2008-16

Cosmic Collisions Galore!

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Image: Hubble Interacting Galaxy NGC 5257

Hubble Interacting Galaxy NGC 5257

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

NGC 5257/8 (Arp 240) is an astonishing galaxy pair, composed of spiral galaxies of similar mass and size, NGC 5257 and NGC 5258. The galaxies are visibly interacting with each other via a bridge of dim stars connecting the two galaxies, almost like two dancers holding hands while performing a pirouette. Both galaxies harbor supermassive black holes in their centers and are actively forming new stars in their disks. Arp 240 is located in the constellation Virgo, approximately 300 million light-years away, and is the 240th galaxy in Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. With the exception of a few foreground stars from our own Milky Way all the objects in this image are galaxies.

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 5257, NGC 5257/8, Arp 240, VV 055, KPG 389

Image Type: Astronomical

Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

Technical facts about this image:

About the Object
Object Name: NGC 5257, NGC 5257/8, Arp 240, VV 055, KPG 389
Object Description: Interacting Galaxies
Position (J2000): 13 39 55.68
+00 50 03.9
Constellation: Virgo
Distance: 300 million light-years (100 million parsecs)
About the Data
Data Description: The Hubble image was created using HST data from proposal 10592: A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)
Instrument: ACS/WFC
Exposure Date(s): December 20, 2001
Exposure Time: 33 minutes
Filters: F435W (B) and F814W (I)
About the Image
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)
Release Date: April 24, 2008

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