Arp 274 Or NGC 5679

image

Arp 274, also known as NGC 5679, is a system
of three galaxies that appear to be partially
overlapping in the image, although they may
be at somewhat different distances. The spiral
shapes of two of these galaxies appear mostly
intact. The third galaxy (to the far left) is
more compact, but shows evidence of star
formation.
Two of the three galaxies are forming new
stars at a high rate. This is evident in the
bright blue knots of star formation that are
strung along the arms of the galaxy on the
right and along the small galaxy on the left.
The largest component is located in the
middle of the three. It appears as a spiral
galaxy, which may be barred. The entire
system resides at about 400 million light-years
away from Earth in the constellation Virgo.
Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 was
used to image Arp 274. Blue, visible, and
infrared filters were combined with a filter
that isolates hydrogen emission. The colors in
this image reflect the intrinsic color of the
different stellar populations that make up the
galaxies. Yellowish older stars can be seen in
the central bulge of each galaxy. A bright
central cluster of stars pinpoint each nucleus.
Younger blue stars trace the spiral arms,
along with pinkish nebulae that are
illuminated by new star formation. Interstellar
dust is silhouetted against the starry
population. A pair of foreground stars inside
our own Milky Way are at far right.

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