A cataclysmic cosmic collision takes center stage in this image taken with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The image features the interacting galaxy pair IC 1623, which lies around 275 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus (the Whale). The two galaxies are in the final stages of merging, and astronomers expect a powerful inflow of gas to ignite a frenzied burst of star formation in the resulting compact starburst galaxy.

This interacting pair of galaxies is a familiar sight; Hubble captured IC 1623 in 2008 using two filters at optical and infrared wavelengths on the Advanced Camera for Surveys. This image incorporates data from Wide Field Camera 3, and combines observations taken in eight filters spanning infrared to ultraviolet wavelengths to reveal the finer details of IC 1623. Future observations of the galaxy pair with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope will shed more light on the processes powering extreme star formation in environments such as IC 1623.

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Chandar

在这张由NASA/ESA哈勃太空望远镜拍摄的图像中,一场灾难性的宇宙碰撞占据了中心位置。该图像显示了相互作用的星系对IC 1623,它位于鲸鱼座中,距离地球约2.75亿光年。这两个星系正处于合并的最后阶段,天文学家预计强大的气体流入会在由此产生的致密星暴星系中引发疯狂的恒星形成爆发。

这对相互作用的星系是我们熟悉的景象;哈勃望远镜在2008年用光学和红外波段的两个滤光片拍摄到了IC 1623。这幅图像结合了来自广角相机3号相机的数据,并结合了从红外到紫外波长的8个滤光片的观察结果,揭示了IC 1623的更精细细节。未来,NASA/ESA/CSA的詹姆斯·韦伯太空望远镜将对这对星系进行观测,从而进一步揭示在IC 1623这样的环境中推动极端恒星形成的过程。

文字来源:欧洲航天局 (ESA)
图片来源:ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Chandar

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