Monday, May 2, 2011

ESO Image: Spiral Galaxy Pair Shaped by Gravitational Tug-of-War

A pair of spiral galaxies displays some curious features in a new image from the European Southern Observatory (ESO), showing that the members of the galactic duo are close enough to exert their distorting gravitational influence on each other.

The gravitational tug-of-war has warped the spiral shape of one galaxy, NGC 3169, and fragmented the dust lanes of its companion NGC 3166.

Meanwhile, a third, smaller galaxy to the lower right, NGC 3165, has a front-row seat to the gravitational twisting and pulling of its bigger galactic neighbors.

The image was captured by the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

No comments:

Post a Comment