This composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 is 522,000 light-years across, making it about five times the size of the Milky Way.
Add image to your album
Email this page Post this page to your Facebook wall Tweet this page

Dwarf Galaxy Spotted

Click here for larger version of PIA16613
Annotated Image
Click on the image for larger version

This composite of the giant barred spiral galaxy NGC 6872 combines visible light images from the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope with far-ultraviolet (1,528 angstroms) data from NASA's GALEX and 3.6-micron infrared data acquired by NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. A previously unsuspected tidal dwarf galaxy candidate (circled) appears only in the ultraviolet, indicating the presence of many hot young stars. IC 4970, the small disk galaxy interacting with NGC 6872, is located above the spiral's central region. The spiral is 522,000 light-years across from the tip of one outstretched arm to the tip of the other, which makes it about five times the size of our home galaxy, the Milky Way. Images of lower resolution from the Digital Sky Survey were used to fill in marginal areas not covered by the other data.

The GALEX mission is led by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, which is responsible for science operations and data analysis. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, also in Pasadena, manages the mission and built the science instrument. GALEX was developed under NASA's Explorers Program managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. In May 2012, NASA loaned GALEX to Caltech, which continues spacecraft operations and data management using private funds.

For more information about GALEX, visit http://www.nasa.gov/galex and http://www.galex.caltech.edu/.

Image details

ID#:
PIA16613

Date added:
2013-01-10

Mission:
ESO Very Large Telescope, Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX), Spitzer Space Telescope

Rating:



Views:
10,966

Full-Res TIFF:
PIA16613.tif (42.2 MB)

Full-Res JPG:
PIA16613.jpg (0.75 MB)

Image credit:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center/ESO/JPL-Caltech/DSS