two galaxies merged
violent cosmic collision
senryu by M. Nakazato LaFreniere
Sometimes I use the daily prompt to throw into Google for inspiration which can set me off on a trail. Today ” enlighten” led me to “Enlighten Me: Astronomers celebrate gravitational waves discovery“. The image there sent me to google NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/CI Lab and I found NASA’s image galleries! If you haven’t been there, you are missing a treat.
Today’s image of the day was captioned:
Hubble Unravels a Twisted Cosmic Knot
2 days ago
This Hubble image shows what happens when two galaxies become one. The twisted cosmic knot seen here is NGC 2623 — or Arp 243 — and is located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab).
I used that image for today’s senryu. It’s amazing that that Hubble photographed two galaxies merging. It’s so beautiful …. as long as you are millions of light years away. I imagine any existing planets out there were decimated.
Quote from ESA describing the image: “This image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows what happens when two galaxies become one. The twisted cosmic knot seen here is NGC 2623 — or Arp 243 — and is located about 250 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab).
NGC 2623 gained its unusual and distinctive shape as the result of a major collision and subsequent merger between two separate galaxies. This violent encounter caused clouds of gas within the two galaxies to become compressed and stirred up, in turn triggering a sharp spike of star formation. This active star formation is marked by speckled patches of bright blue; these can be seen clustered both in the centre and along the trails of dust and gas forming NGC 2623’s sweeping curves (known as tidal tails). These tails extend for roughly 50 000 light-years from end to end. Many young, hot, newborn stars form in bright stellar clusters — at least 170 such clusters are known to exist within NGC 2623.
NGC 2623 is in a late stage of merging. It is thought that the Milky Way will eventually resemble NGC 2623 when it collides with our neighbouring galaxy, the Andromeda Galaxy, in four billion years time. In contrast to the image of NGC 2623 released in 2009 (heic0912), this new version contains data from recent narrow-band and infrared observations that make more features of the galaxy visible.”
Text credit: ESA (European Space Agency)
Enlighten Me: Astronomers celebrate gravitational waves discovery by Katie Peikes, Delaware Public Media Octiber 20, 2017
Hubble Photograph: ESA/Hubble & NASA