Stephan's quintet

Stephan's quintet

R900/0082

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Caption

Stephan's quintet. Optical image of Stephan's quintet. This group of galaxies is 300 million light years from Earth in the constellation Pegasus. It consists of NGC 7320 (upper right) NGC7319 (lower right), NGC7318A and B (centre left) and NGC7317 (upper left). The galaxies are so close together they are tearing each other apart with gravitational tidal forces, leaving trails of dust and gas. The red areas are hydrogen clouds and sites of star birth. It is argued that NGC7320 is not actually part of the cluster, but lies in the foreground.

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