Seyfert’s Symphony: Hubble Showcases a Breathtaking Galactic Collision

Arp 107 Hubble Space Telescope

The Hubble Space Telescope, using its Advanced Camera for Surveys, captured this striking image of Arp 107, showcasing two galaxies in the midst of a collision. The larger galaxy, known as a Seyfert galaxy, emits radiation from its entire structure, making its intricate spiraling patterns visible. This galaxy is connected to its smaller companion by a ‘bridge’ of dust and gas. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Dalcanton

Hubble’s latest capture reveals the colliding galaxies of Arp 107. A part of Halton Arp’s 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, this image serves both scientific insight and public fascination.

This week’s Hubble Picture, captured using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, showcases Arp 107 – a pair of galaxies undergoing a collision.

The larger galaxy, positioned to the left of the image, is classified as a Seyfert galaxy. This is an extraordinarily energetic type of galaxy with an active galactic nucleus at its core. Seyfert galaxies are particularly intriguing because, in spite of the bright intensity of their active cores, radiation from the entire galaxy can be discerned. Such brilliance and detail are evident in the image where the spiraling patterns of the entire galaxy are distinctly visible.

Connecting the larger galaxy to its smaller counterpart is a delicate ‘bridge’ made of dust and gas. Located at an approximate distance of 465 million light-years from our planet, this celestial spectacle continues to mesmerize astronomers.

The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies: Arp 107’s Legacy

Arp 107 holds its place in a catalog named the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, which consists of 338 unique galaxies. This catalog was put together in 1966 by the esteemed Halton Arp. Hubble’s recent observation of Arp 107 was part of a special program. The initiative was focused on bridging an observational ‘gap’ by conducting limited observations of the galaxies listed in the Arp catalog.

One of the core motives of this program was not only scientific but also public engagement. It aimed to furnish the public with captivating images of these remarkable and somewhat elusive galaxies. As a result, this initiative has delivered a wealth of captivating visual data for enthusiasts and professionals alike. Images of these spectacular and not-easily-defined galaxies are a rich source for Hubble Pictures of the Week. In fact, several recent releases, including this one and this one, have made use of observations from the same observing program.

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