News Release Archive:

News Release 198 of 1051

September 6, 2012 09:00 AM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2012-38

Odd Galaxy Couple on Space Voyage


Video: Pan Across Arp 116

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This video shows Hubble Space Telescope observations of Arp 116, a pair of galaxies in the constellation Virgo. Arp 116 is composed of a giant elliptical galaxy known as Messier 60 (or M60) and a much smaller spiral galaxy, NGC 4647.

Astronomers have long tried to determine whether these two galaxies are actually interacting. Looking at them from Earth they overlap, but there is no evidence of new star formation, which would be one of the clearest signs that the two galaxies are indeed interacting. However, recent studies of very detailed Hubble images suggest the onset of some tidal interaction between the two.

Credit: NASA and ESA

Selected still images from this video (click to enlarge):

Release Videos

Zoom into Galaxy Pair Arp 116 Running Time: 54 seconds
Pan Across Arp 116 Running Time: 54 seconds