This is about 270 million light years away in the “Venomium” direction of the southern sky「NGC 6845」in. NGC 6845, which contains four galaxies in total, is known as an interacting galaxy. Interacting galaxies are multiple galaxies that exert a gravitational influence on each other through passing each other or collisions.
A closer look shows that NGC 6845 contains two types of galaxies. According to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) National Institute for Optical and Infrared Astronomy (NOIRLab), which released the images, the top two galaxies are classified as spiral galaxies, and the bottom two galaxies as lenticular galaxies.
Pairs of spiral galaxies are held together by structures of stars and gas that have been pulled apart by gravitational interactions. It is believed that two spiral galaxies eventually develop into lenticular galaxies of the same type as two others.
The first image was taken using the “Gemini South Telescope” (8.1m aperture) of the Gemini Observatory in Cerro Pachon, Chile, and was released by NOIRLab on November 23, 2022.
Related: A ring of colliding galaxies shines in Eridanus, imaged with the Hubble Space Telescope and Dark Energy Camera
- Image Credit: International Gemini Observatory/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA/G. Gimeno, RJ Díaz, H. Dottori; Image Processing: Rector TA (University of Alaska Anchorage/NOIRLab NSF), M. Zamani (NOIRLab NSF) and D. de Martin (NOIRLab NSF)
- NOIRLab – Galactic Quartet
Text / Takehiro Matsumura