Hubble’s most recent capture unveils the collision of galaxies within the Arp 107 system, a notable entry in Halton Arp’s 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies. This image is a convergence of scientific insight and public fascination, showcased as this week’s Hubble Picture. Captured using the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, it beautifully portrays Arp 107 – a duo of galaxies in the midst of a collision.
The larger galaxy, positioned on the left in the image, falls under the classification of a Seyfert galaxy, a highly energetic type characterized by an active galactic nucleus at its core. Seyfert galaxies are of particular interest due to their bright, active cores while still allowing the observation of radiation from the entire galaxy. This brilliance and intricate detail are evident in the image, showcasing distinct spiraling patterns across the entire galaxy.
A delicate ‘bridge’ composed of dust and gas connects the larger galaxy to its smaller counterpart. Situated approximately 465 million light-years from our planet, this celestial spectacle continues to captivate astronomers.
The Legacy of Arp 107 in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies:
Arp 107 occupies a prominent position within the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, an extensive catalog featuring 338 unique galaxies. This catalog, compiled in 1966 by the esteemed Halton Arp, serves as a vital astronomical resource. Hubble’s recent observation of Arp 107 was part of a specialized program aimed at bridging an observational ‘gap’ by conducting limited observations of the galaxies listed in the Arp catalog.
The program’s primary objective extended beyond scientific exploration; it also sought to engage the public. The initiative was designed to provide captivating images of these remarkable yet elusive galaxies to the public. Consequently, it has generated a wealth of visually stunning data for both enthusiasts and professionals. The spectacular and intricate features of these galaxies, not easily defined, are a rich source of Hubble Pictures of the Week. Several recent releases, including this one and another, have utilized observations from the same dedicated observing program.