Galaxies II

  • Galaxy formation
  • Galactic evolution
    • Collisions
    • Starburst galaxies
    • Quasar epoch
  • Galaxy clusters
    • Dark matter
  • Large scale structure of the universe

Magellenic Clouds Explanation: "This early morning skyscape recorded near Winton, Queensland, Australia, looks toward the southeast. Low clouds are seen in silhouette against the first hints of sunlight, while two famous cosmic clouds, the Clouds of Magellan, also hover in the brightening sky. The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC, upper right), and the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) are prominent wonders of the southern sky, named for the 16th century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan. They are small, irregular galaxies in their own right, satellites of our much larger, spiral Milky Way galaxy. The SMC is about 210,000 light-years and the LMC about 180,000 light-years away. At lower left, bright star Canopus (Alpha Carinae), denizen of the Milky Way, is a mere 310 light-years distant. "

Galactic cannibalism – APOD Galaxies in the River Credit & Copyright: Robert Gendler, Jan-Erik Ovaldsen, Allan Hornstrup, IDA Image data: ESO/Danish 1.5m telescope at La Silla, Chile - 2008 Explanation: "Large galaxies grow by eating small ones. Even our own galaxy practices galactic cannibalism, absorbing small galaxies that get too close and are captured by the Milky Way's gravity. In fact, the practice is common in the universe and well illustrated by this striking pair of interacting galaxies from the banks of the southern constellation Eridanus (The River). Located over 50 million light years away, the large, distorted spiral NGC 1532 is seen locked in a gravitational struggle with dwarf galaxy NGC 1531, a struggle the smaller galaxy will eventually lose. Seen edge-on, spiral NGC 1532 spans about 100,000 light-years. The NGC 1532/1531 pair is thought to be similar to the system of face-on spiral and small companion known as M51, the Whirlpool Galaxy. "

Antennae galaxies in collision

Ring galaxy – product of collision

NGC 2207 and IC 2163

Antennae galaxy Explanation: "Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus, two large galaxies have collided. But stars in the two galaxies - NGC 4038 and NGC 4039 - don't collide in the course of the ponderous, billion year or so long event. Instead, their large clouds of molecular gas and dust do, triggering furious episodes of star formation. Spanning about 500 thousand light-years, this stunning view reveals new star clusters and matter flung far from the scene of the accident by gravitational tidal forces. Of course, the visual appearance of the far-flung arcing structures gives the galaxy pair its popular name - The Antennae. Recorded in this deep image of the region at the tip of the upper arc is a tidal dwarf galaxy NGC 4038S, formed in the cosmic debris. "