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Last updated on April 20, 2014 at 14:04 EDT
Anatomy of a Bird VLTs NACO instrument reveals a triple
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Anatomy of a Bird: VLT's NACO instrument reveals a triple cosmic collision

December 24, 2007
The Cosmic Bird or Tinker Bell

A 30-min VLT/NACO K-band exposure has been combined with archive HST/ACS B and I-band images to produce a three-colour image of the 'Bird' interacting galaxy system. The NACO image has allowed astronomers to not only see the two previously known galaxies, but to identify a third, clearly separate component, an irregular, yet fairly massive galaxy that seems to form stars at a frantic rate. The final colour image was produced by Henri Boffin (ESO).