Arp 273. The Flower galaxies



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Arp 273 is a kind of a celestial dance of two interacting galaxies located approximately 300 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. This celestial pair, comprising a larger spiral galaxy and a smaller companion, is a clear example of the immense gravitational interactions that can shape the evolution of galaxies.

The primary galaxy in this cosmic ballet, designated as UGC 1810, is a spiral galaxy with prominent arms adorned with bright blue stars, a hallmark of active star formation. UGC 1810 is five times more massive than its companion, UGC 1813, a smaller irregular galaxy, and characterized by its distorted structure. The visible signs of their gravitational interaction include a bridge of gas and dust connecting the two galaxies and a long, sweeping tidal tail, both products of the tidal forces at play.

Arp 273 offers insights into the dynamics of galaxy interactions and their impact on star formation. As these galaxies draw closer together, their mutual gravitational pull triggers immense shockwaves that compress gas and dust, instigating the birth of new stars. The blue hues emanating from the spiral arms testify to this ongoing star formation process. Furthermore, Arp 273 serves as a reminder of the relentless evolution of galaxies. In the distant future, these two galaxies will likely merge into a single, more massive galaxy, bringing their cosmic ballet to a grand finale.

This image is another example of the ongoing joint project with Christian Sasse.


Additional Information


Name(s): Arp 273 (UGC 1810 + UGC 1813)

Type: Interacting spiral galaxies

RA:  02h 21m 29s

Dec: +39º 22’ 32”

Constellation: Andromeda

Size (arcmin): 1.6 arcmin

Magnitude: 13.7

Distance: 300 Mly


Date: 2023-10-06 to 2023-10-14

Location: Curiosity2 Observatory, New Mexico Skies, Mayhill, NM, USA

Size (arcmin): 12×10 arcmin

Telescope: 24” (61 cm) f/6.5 Reflector

Camera: FLI PL16803 (4096x4096pix)

Guiding: Astrodon MonsterMOAG off-axis guider

Total exposure: 22 hours (L: 13h; RGB: 9h)

Processing: CCDStack, PixInsight (one step) and Photoshop CC 2023

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