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Warped Edge-On Galaxy ESO 510-G13
Edge-on Spiral Galaxy
R.A. 13h 55m 04.8s Dec. -26° 46' 48.0''
46 Mpc (150 million light-years)
This image is 2.4 arcminutes wide, or roughly 32 kpc (105,000 light-years)
April 6-7, 2001
F450W (B); F555W (V); F675W (R)
NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
August 2, 2001
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of an unusual edge-on galaxy, revealing remarkable details of its warped dusty disk and showing how colliding galaxies spawn the formation of new generations of stars.
The dust and spiral arms of normal spiral galaxies, like our own Milky Way, appear flat when viewed edge-on. This month's Hubble Heritage image of ESO 510-G13 shows a galaxy that, by contrast, has an unusual twisted disk structure, first seen in ground-based photographs obtained at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. ESO 510-G13 lies in the southern constellation Hydra, roughly 150 million light-years from Earth.
Details of the structure of ESO 510-G13 are visible because the interstellar dust clouds that trace its disk are silhouetted from behind by light from the galaxy's bright, smooth central bulge.
The strong warping of the disk indicates that ESO 510-G13 has recently undergone a collision with a nearby galaxy and is in the process of swallowing it. Gravitational forces distort the structures of the galaxies as their stars, gas, and dust merge together in a process that takes millions of years. Eventually the disturbances will die out, and ESO 510-G13 will become a normal-appearing single galaxy.
the outer regions of ESO 510-G13, especially on the right-hand side of
the image, we see that the twisted disk contains not only dark dust, but
also bright clouds of blue stars. This shows that hot, young stars are
being formed in the disk. Astronomers believe that the formation of new
stars may be triggered by collisions between galaxies, as their interstellar
clouds smash together and are compressed.