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Ballet of Interacting Galaxies
NGC 1531, NGC 1532
RA 4h 12m 4.34s Dec -32° 52' 27.13"
50 million light years
NGC 1531- 1.3'x0.9' NGC 1532-12.6'×3.3'
NGC 1531-12.9 NGC 1532-10.7
12.62 x 11.46 arcminutes
North is 45.2° left of vertical
December 3, 2009
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:
The pair of galaxies NGC 1531/1532, engaged in a spirited waltz, is located about 70 million light-years away towards the southern constellation Eridanus (The River). The deformed foreground spiral galaxy laced with dust lanes NGC 1532 is so close to its companion - the background galaxy, NGC 1531, with a bright core just above the center of NGC 1532 - that it gets distorted. One of its spiral arms is warped and plumes of dust and gas are visible above its disc. The cosmic dance leads to another dramatic effect: a whole new generation of massive stars were born in NGC 1532 because of the interaction. They are visible as the purple objects in the spiral arms. NGC 1531 is a dwarf galaxy that is interacting with the larger spiral galaxy NGC 1532. Although technically classified as a peculiar lenticular galaxy, the galaxy's structure is better described as amorphous
exquisite image was made using the 1.5-meter Danish telescope at the ESO
La Silla Observatory, Chile. It is based on data obtained through three
different filters: B, V and R. The field of view is 12x12 arc-min