Daily Telescope: A galactic neighborhood that isn’t


Some objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.
Enlarge / Some objects in the mirror are closer than they appear.

NASA, ESA, et. al.

Welcome to the Daily Telescope. There is a little too much darkness in this world and not enough light, a little too much pseudoscience and not enough science. We’ll let other publications offer you a daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we’re going to take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe that is filled with stars and wonder.

Good morning. It’s January 10, and today’s image comes from the venerable Hubble Space Telescope. It’s an amazing one.

According to the European Space Agency, the large, prominent spiral galaxy on the right side of the image is NGC 1356; the two apparently smaller spiral galaxies flanking it are LEDA 467699 (above it) and LEDA 95415 (very close to its left) respectively; and finally, IC 1947 sits along the left side of the image.

The galaxies appear close to one another, but looks can be deceiving! For example, NGC 1356 and LEDA 95415 seem to be interacting with one another, but they are nearly 300 million light-years apart.

For comparison purposes—not that anyone can really make sense of the mind-boggling distances involved in cosmology—our Milky Way galaxy spans about 100,000 light-years across. So, these galaxies are 3,000 times that distance apart from one another.

Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Dalcanton, Dark Energy Survey/DOE/FNAL/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA

Do you want to submit a photo for the Daily Telescope? Reach out and say hello.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *