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Interacting Galaxies in Canes Venatici


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About this observation
David Strange
Time of observation
15/03/2020 - 23:20
NGC's 4631 and 4656
Observing location
Salcombe Regis
C8 Hyperstar telescope
ASI 183MM Pro CCD camera
30 x 30 seconds
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By way of something totally different this month, here is a pair of galaxies, separated by 25 million light years yet tidally interacting with each other.  The galaxies are known as the Whale and the Hockey Stick. The unusual shape of NGC 4656 is thought to be due to between it and a couple of near neighbours, NGC 4631 (otherwise known as The Whale Galaxy and shown in this image) and NGC 4627 (a small elliptical not shown). Galactic interactions can completely reshape a celestial object, shifting and warping its constituent gas, stars, and dust into bizarre and beautiful configurations.

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