NASA / CXC / ESO-VLT / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / CXC / ESO-VLT / JPL-CALTECH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
NGC 6872 colliding galaxies, composite image. These galaxies are NGC 6872 (large, centre) and IC 4970 (small, upper centre). The image combines X-ray data (purple haze) from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, infrared data (red, appearing pink here) from the Spitzer Space Telescope, and optical data (rest of image) from the Very Large Telescope. This study showed that IC 4970's active galactic nucleus and supermassive black hole are drawing cold gas from NGC 6872. The image is 310,000 light years across. These galaxies are some 180 million light years from Earth, in the constellation of Pavo. Image published in 2009.
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