Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Slow Dance of Galaxies NGC 5394 and 5395
Image Credit: Gemini, NSF, OIR Lab, AURA; Text: Ryan Tanner (NASA/USRA)

Explanation: If you like slow dances, then this may be one for you. A single turn in this dance takes several hundred million years. Two galaxies, NGC 5394 and NGC 5395, slowly whirl about each other in a gravitational interaction that sets off a flourish of sparks in the form of new stars. The featured image, taken with the Gemini North 8-meter telescope on Maunakea, Hawaii, USA, combines four different colors. Emission from hydrogen gas, colored red, marks stellar nurseries where new stars drive the evolution of the galaxies. Also visible are dark dust lanes that mark gas that will eventually become stellar nurseries. If you look carefully you will see many more galaxies in the background, some involved in their own slow cosmic dances.

Tomorrow’s picture: open space

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s