April 30, 2004
Stars like our Sun are members of galaxies, and most galaxies are themselves members of clusters of galaxies. In these, they move around among each other in a mostly slow and graceful ballet. But every now and then, two or more of the members may get too close for comfort - the movements become hectic, sometimes indeed dramatic, as when galaxies end up colliding. ESO PR Photo 12/04 shows an example of such a cosmic tango. This is the superb triple system NGC 6769-71, located in the southern Pavo constellation (the Peacock) at a distance of 190 million light-years.
Topics: Interacting galaxies, Peculiar galaxies, Spiral galaxies, Cosmic Ballet, Lenticular galaxies, Robert's Quartet, Phoenix constellation, Galaxy formation and evolution, Galaxy