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Photo Info

Dimensions3000 x 3025
Original file size2.11 MB
Image typeJPEG
Arp 271 (NGC 5426 and NGC 5427) in Virgo

Arp 271 (NGC 5426 and NGC 5427) in Virgo

Imager Temp -20C
Celestron 9.25 Reduced 0.63
30% Crop

NGC 5426 (left) and NGC 5427 (right) comprising the system known as Arp 271 lie 114 million light years away in the constellation Virgo. The two nearly identical galaxies are in the early stages of gravitational interaction and can be seen sharing matter in a 60,000 light-year long bridge-like structure between them. Their spiral arms are beginning to distort as well. This can be seen best in NGC 5427 as a bifurcation in it's upper arm in this image.

Since this image was taken with a humble 9.25 inch Schmidt-Cassegrain, you might want to check out a closer view and educational writeup taken by the Gemini South Telescope at Cerro Pachon Chile.

The interacting pair is part of Dr. Halton Arp's "Catalog of Peculiar Galaxies".

May 19, 2009