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OPT06 - A "ROSE" MADE OF GALAXIES Highlights Hubble's 21st Anniversary.  The two misshapen spiral galaxies in this image combine to form a beautiful celestial flower in this Hubble image taken with the Wide Field Camera 3.  Collectively known as ARP 273, UGC 1810, the pair is among hundreds of "peculiar" galaxies cataloged by astronomer Halton Arp in the 1960s.  The gravitational attraction between these two galaxies has created their physical distortions.  The interplay of their gravitational forces bends the two spiral galaxies as they approach and prepare to merge, 300 million light-years away.  It is believed that they will orbit around each other for eons and finally come together.  The outermost arm of the larger spiral appears to have been pulled into a wide ring around the galaxy, a characteristic astronomers often see in galaxy pairs where one galaxy has passed through the other.  The ring around this galaxy is off-center, though.  This suggests the smaller galaxy plunged through the larger one, but that its kamikaze dive was not a direct hit.  The encounter seems to have also tipped the large galaxy's inner arms relative to the rest of the galaxy, while the smaller galaxy has become somewhat stretched out, with two sprawling tails on either end.  The interactions between the galaxies appear to have set off a stellar baby boom.  In the larger galaxy, a flurry of new star birth recently erupted along the outer spiral arms, where bright, blue clusters of young stars now sparkle.  The smaller galaxy's star formation, on the other hand, seems concentrated in its bright core.  Like the galaxies of ARP 273, most galaxies do not live in isolation.  Their encounters with each other are an influential part of the growing-up process for galaxies.  By observing how galaxies are affected by their gravitational exchanges, astronomers can better understand how galaxies developed and how the universe evolved.  Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA).  The image was created from Hubble data from proposal 12326: K. Noll (PI), Z. Levay, M. Mutchler, T. Borders, L. Frattare, M. Livio, C. Christian, and H. Bond (Hubble Heritage Team/STScI), and was published on 2011-04-20 09:00 EDT. 



Description - Interacting Galaxies Object Position - R. A. 02h 21m 30.6s, Dec. 39° 21' 57.99" Constellation - Andromeda

Dimensions - The image is 2.6 arcminutes (260,000 light-years or 80,000 parsecs) wide.

Distance - About 340 million light-years (105 million parsecs)

Instrument - Wide Field Camera 3/UVIS, HST>WFC3/UVIS

Exposure Dates - December 17, 2010

Exposure Time: 5.9 hours

Filters – F390W (U), F475X (g), and F600LP (Red Longpass)

Color Info - This image is a composite of separate exposures acquired by the WFC3 instrument on HST.  Several filters were used to sample broad wavelength ranges.  The color results from assigning different hues (colors) to each monochromatic (grayscale) image associated with an individual filter.  In this case, the assigned colors are: Blue: F390W (U), Green: F475X (g), Red: F600LP (Red Longpass)


Being overall 6 inches wide and 9 1/4 inches high, this luminary has a 6 x 8 inch rectangle of 1/4 inch thick glass, laser engraved with an image of the two galaxies.  The glass is mounted on a painted wooden base.  Also attached to the base is an engraved black and silver metal plate with information about the image.


The glass and its image are illuminated from behind by a six lamp LED light (included) which is powered by 3 AAA batteries (not included).  This luminary makes a great night light or a light source to brighten a darker corner of your bookshelf.

OPT06 - Glass Luminary of a Galactic Collision Etched on 1/4 Inch Thick Glass

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