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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

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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