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News Release Archive:

News Release 288 of 967

April 24, 2008 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2008-16

Cosmic Collisions Galore!

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Image: Hubble Interacting Galaxy UGC 8058

Hubble Interacting Galaxy UGC 8058

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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

The extraordinary galaxy UGC 8058, also known as Markarian 231, was discovered in 1969 as part of a survey searching for galaxies with strong ultraviolet radiation. It has long tidal tails and a disturbed shape. Results from the first spectrum showed clear signs of the presence of a powerful quasar in the center that made Markarian 231 unique in the Markarian sample. Markarian 231 has maintained its reputation as an exceptional object since those early observations and continues to be a favorite target in all wavelength regimes. Its infrared luminosity is similar to that of quasars, making it one of the most luminous and powerful known ultra-luminous infrared galaxies. Although the emission of many ultra-luminous infrared galaxies appears to be dominated by energetic starbursts, Markarian 231 has been repeatedly identified as an exception and many pieces of evidence point toward an accreting black hole as the major power source behind the enormous infrared luminosity. Although the primary power source behind the incredible far-infrared luminosity of Markarian 231 is almost certainly an active nucleus, the galaxy is also undergoing an energetic starburst. Most dramatically a nuclear ring of active star formation with a rate estimated to be greater than 100 solar masses per year has been found in the center. UGC 8058 is located about 600 million light-years away from Earth.

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: UGC 8058, Mrk 0231, VII Zw 490, QSO B1254+571

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: UGC 8058, Mrk 0231, VII Zw 490, QSO B1254+571
Object Description: Interacting Galaxies
Position (J2000): 12 56 13.96
+56 52 27.3
Constellation: Ursa Major
Distance: 550 million light-years (150 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): May 10, 2002
Exposure Time: 38 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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