Anatomy of a bird

Not an actual bird, but not to miss. 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,” is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy.

The galaxy ESO 593-IG 008, or IRAS 19115-2124, was previously known as an interacting pair of galaxies at a distance of 650 million light-years. But surprises were revealed by observations made with the NACO instrument attached to ESO’s Very Large Telescope, which peered through the all-pervasive dust clouds, using adaptive optics to resolve the finest details.

read more at Astronomy.com


Updated: February 17, 2012 — 7:38 pm

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