Вадим Дудченко
Администратор портала

Using ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope (VST), astronomers have captured this image of the peculiar galaxy NGC 7727.

This image, taken with ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope, shows NGC 7727, a peculiar galaxy some 69 million light-years away in the constellation of Aquarius. Image credit: ESO / VST-ATLAS Team / Durham University / CASU / WFAU.

“Just as people at a busy crossroad may accidentally bump into each other, so too can galaxies in the Universe!” the ESO astronomers said.

“But in this case, the outcome is more dramatic than a small nudge.”

“When two galaxies clash, they merge into each other, giving birth to a new, bigger one. One example is NGC 7727, shown in this VST image.”

NGC 7727 is located approximately 69 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Aquarius.

This 115,000-light-year-wide galaxy was discovered by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel on November 27, 1785.

Also designated as Arp 222 and LEDA 72060, the galaxy is the brightest member of the NGC 7727 group (LGG 480).

Astronomers think that NGC 7727 is the product of the merger of two smaller spiral galaxies that took place around one billion years ago.

The galaxy’s most likely fate is to become an elliptical galaxy in the future, with very little interstellar dust and star formation.

“NGC 7727 is believed to be the result of a clash between two galaxies that occurred about one billion years ago,” the researchers said.

“The consequences of this tremendous cosmic bump are still evident in the peculiar, irregular shape of NGC 7727 and the streams of stars in its outer regions.”

The new image of NGC 7727 was taken in visible light as part of the VST-ATLAS survey.

“The goal of the survey is to map a vast region of the southern sky — so large you could fit about 19,000 full moons in it,” the scientists explained.

“By studying the galaxies in this region, we aim to shed new light on the nature of dark energy, the mysterious force permeating the Universe and causing its accelerating expansion.”

 



Actual news

  • Sunday
  • Day
  • Month