Hubble Captures a Dangerous Dance Over 100 Million Light-Years From Earth

Interacting Galaxies Arp 91

Hubble Space Telescope image of Arp 91, a pair of intertwined galaxies (NGC 5953 and NGC 5954). Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Dalcanton, Acknowledgment: J. Schmidt

This Picture of the Week features two interacting galaxies that are so intertwined, they have a collective name — Arp 91. This delicate galactic dance is taking place over 100 million light-years from Earth, and was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The two galaxies comprising Arp 91 do have their own names: the lower galaxy, which in this image looks like a bright spot, is known as NGC 5953; and the ovoid galaxy to the upper right is NGC 5954. In reality, both of these galaxies are spiral galaxies, but their shapes appear very different because they are orientated differently with respect to Earth.

Arp 91 provides a particularly vivid example of galactic interaction. NGC 5954 is clearly being tugged towards NGC 5953 — it looks like it is extending one spiral arm downwards. It is the immense gravitational attraction of the two galaxies that is causing them to interact. Such gravitational interactions between galaxies are common, and are an important part of galactic evolution. Most astronomers nowadays believe that collisions between spiral galaxies lead to the formation of another type of galaxy, known as elliptical galaxies. These immensely energetic and massive collisions, however, happen on timescales that dwarf a human lifetime — they take place over hundreds of millions of years. So we should not expect Arp 91 to look any different over the course of our lifetimes!

11 Comments on "Hubble Captures a Dangerous Dance Over 100 Million Light-Years From Earth"

  1. roll up roll up its the scrap of the 2021
    its the battle of the baby serpents in the constellation serpens
    one is slithering along the cosmic universe ground ngc 5984
    the other is couched on the branch of a cosmic tree ngc 5953
    the aerial battle of the 21st century
    notice how the higher branch ngc 5983 has waited to position itself right overhead in order to make its strike by lowering its spiral arm down to drop the tnt dynamite bomb and land the first knockout blow on the lower ngc 5984
    but if you believe that your in the wrong war zone
    the slithering one the lower ngc 5984 has deployed its defensive shield the centre of its galactic being the centre of a black hole with an xray beam vortex of 500 light years wide and a gamma ray vortex of 250 light years wide with a fermi bubble that has lashed out its vortex beam at 30,000 light years distance like when a viper makes its lashing out forked poisonous sting tongue strike
    and not only has the 5985 lost its spiral arm to the vortex force below if it stays there any longer its will be vortexed drained away down a black hole at the base of its galaxy
    and if ngc 5953 tries to strike back with its own black hole centre attack
    its too late alas it approached the job the wrong way around
    its orientation and balance is totally off kilter
    the grounded one 5953 has the upper thrust hand and in one manoeuvre will swing the 5983 off its tree branch and tumble it down to the slithering ones ground where it will be bone shattered at every spiral limb
    which is to say
    as i look at the picture of two giants out there and making an educated guess
    galaxy 5984 is 100,000 light years wide the heavy weight
    galaxy 5953 is now looking like 50,000 light years wide the light weight
    and the distance between them 30,000 light years distance the invisible vortex force
    a wonderful ringside seat to look out from

  2. Yes,make science interesting,
    like Mr. Abu here. Interesting story sir. Nice visual interpretation.

  3. Mr. Potatoe Head | October 6, 2021 at 1:21 pm | Reply

    Mr. Abu has all his numbers mixed up. No where does the article talk of ngc5983 or 5984. I think Mr. Abu has been to outer space before.
    But I must the original article was found to be very interesting.

  4. Thx for that, Mr. Abu0!

  5. Abu

  6. Ronnel Ancheta | October 8, 2021 at 5:34 am | Reply

    Is This Real And Going To Happen

  7. Thanks for the perspective. And “Mullach Abu!” From the Dunn Clan

  8. One day our own milky way will meet with the Andromeda galaxy and begin its own tug of war as the two merge into one massive galaxy. If in the end, all matter will be devoured in a huge merger, what is the use of our monuments, and accomplishments. Its like none of it even matters.

  9. Actually, depending upon perspective, the “upper” Galaxy, or more distant, is “lower” in the picture, if you look at it.

  10. 2 beyblades bout to go at it

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