Friday, May 9, 2008

Friday Galactic Blogging

This nicely situated galactic collision is close enough and oriented such that we have an extremely good, detailed snapshot of the ongoing interaction between two apparently merging galaxies. One hundred million light years away, it's almost in our neighborhood (the furthest visible galaxies are thirteen billion light years distant), located in the Hydra-Centaurus supercluster, the nearest supercluster except for our own.


  1. I had to look it up to remind myself that our galaxy is about 100 thousand light years across -- for a moment, the distance given to this pair (100 million light years) seemed too close.

    Probably you know how many light years are in our galaxy the way I know how many inches are in a foot, but I figured I'd jot it down, both for other inastronomic (ilastronomic?) readers, and because writing things down makes me remember them.

    Blather aside: Nice pic.

  2. It's a great picture, isn't it? Re the sizes of things, that complex is also about 100,000 ly across, on exactly the same scale as the Milky Way, which is a pretty big example of a galaxy. Andromeda is quite a bit bigger, BTW, and we're locked into a dance with it that will put us into an ever bigger (than what's depicted here) mash-up in a couple of billion years.