A new image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides a detailed look at an interacting galaxy pair called Arp 300.
This Hubble image shows Arp 300, a pair of interacting galaxies some 185 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major. Image credit: NASA / ESA / J. Dalcanton, University of Washington / R. Windhorst, Arizona State University / Gladys Kober, NASA & Catholic University of America.
The Arp 300 galaxy duo resides approximately 185 million light-years away in the constellation of Ursa Major.
Also known as Markarian 111, Mrk 111 or LEDA 26849, it consists of two interacting galaxies: UGC 5028 (smaller face-on spiral galaxy) and UGC 5029 (larger face-on spiral)
“Likely due to its gravitational dance with its larger partner, UGC 5028 has an asymmetric, irregular structure, which is not as visible from ground-based telescopes but is quite distinct in this new image,” Hubble astronomers said in a statement.
“The bright knot visible to the southeast of the center of UGC 5028 may be the remnant of another small galaxy that is in the process of merging with that galaxy.”
“If this is the case, that remnant will eventually merge with the bar of stars visible in Hubble images of UGC 5028, forming a central bulge similar to that of Arp 300’s larger companion galaxy, UGC 5029.”
“UGC 5029 has a pronounced spiral structure and multiple hot, blue giant stars visible on the side facing UGC 5028,” they added.
“This enhanced star formation is likely due to the interaction between the two galaxies.”
“Another edge-on spiral galaxy is visible in this image below UGC 5029, but is too faint to be resolved into star-forming regions,” they said.
“The five objects strung out above it are probably a group of distant background galaxies.”
“We looked at the Arp 300 galaxy pair to study the relationship between the overall physical characteristics of galaxies and their star formation.”