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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Odd Couple of galaxies in space travel

Two very different galaxies drift through space at the same time in this image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The curious pair of galaxies Arp 116 is called. Arp 116 is composed of a giant elliptical galaxy known as Messier 60 (or M60) and a much smaller spiral galaxy, NGC 4647. The spiral galaxy NGC 4647 light blue is about two-thirds of M60 in size and much lower mass - about the size of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

M60 is approximately 54 million light-years from Earth; NGC 4647 is distant about 63 light-years. This image combines Expositions instruments ACS (Advanced Camera for Surveys) and WFPC2 (Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2) Hubble.

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