June 10 Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2022 June 10

Arp 286 (LRGB)
(5.3 hours integration 2022-03)
El Sauce Observatory, Rio Hurtado, Coquimbo, Chile
Planewave 24″ CDK @F/6.5
FLI PL9000
L: 8*600s, R: 8*600s, G: 8*600s , B: 8*600s

Arp 286: Trio in Virgo

Image Credit & CopyrightNicolas RollandTelescope.Live

Explanation: This colorful telescopic field of view features a trio of interacting galaxies almost 90 million light-years away, toward the constellation Virgo. On the right two spiky, foreground Milky Way stars echo the extragalactic hues, a reminder that stars in our own galaxy are like those in distant island universes. With sweeping spiral arms and obscuring dust lanes, the dominant member of the trio, NGC 5566, is enormous, about 150,000 light-years across. Just above it lies smaller, bluish NGC 5569. Near center a third galaxy, NGC 5560, is apparently stretched and distorted by its interaction with massive NGC 5566. The trio is also included in Halton Arp’s 1966 Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies as Arp 286. Of course, such cosmic interactions are now appreciated as part of the evolution of galaxies.