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The Tinker Bell Triplet

Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, an international team of astronomers has discovered a stunning rare case of a triple merger of galaxies. This system, which astronomers have dubbed 'The Bird' - although it also bears resemblance with a cosmic Tinker Bell - is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy.

In this image, a 30-min VLT/NACO K-band exposure has been combined with archive HST/ACS B and I-band images to produce a three-colour image of the 'Bird' interacting galaxy system. The NACO image has allowed astronomers to not only see the two previously known galaxies, but to identify a third, clearly separate component, an irregular, yet fairly massive galaxy that seems to form stars at a frantic rate.

Credit:

ESO

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About the Image

Id:eso0755a
Type:Observation
Release date:21 December 2007
Related releases:eso0755
Size:1246 x 1139 px

About the Object

Name:ESO 593-IG 008, The Bird
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Interacting
• X - Galaxies
Distance:650 million light years
Constellation:Sagittarius

Mounted Image

Image Formats

Large JPEG
395.2 KB
Screensize JPEG
198.8 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
242.9 KB
1280x1024
390.9 KB
1600x1200
525.9 KB
1920x1200
580.8 KB
2048x1536
773.1 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):19 14 31.08
Position (Dec):-21° 19' 9.36"
Field of view:0.60 x 0.55 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 0.2° left of vertical
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Colours & filters

BandTelescope
Infrared
K
Very Large Telescope
NACO
Optical
B
Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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