Colliding Galaxies, Black Holes and a Love Heart in Space!

The Antennae is a pair of spiral galaxies that are interacting and mingling their stars. They began their galactic dance over a few hundred million years ago and are currently in a period where their colliding gas clouds are bursting with new star formation. As the two galaxies merge, their gravitational interactions pull long tails of gas away from each other, and these tails are the sites of starburst activity. In a few billion years, the cores of these two galaxies will be combined into one large core, with a supermassive black hole at its heart. It will be surrounded by an elliptical galaxy of old stars.

Taken from a dark site in Country Victoria, Australia.
5.5 hrs LUM & RGB Data in 5 & 10min subs before the fog rolled in!

Processed using Astro Pixel Processor and Photoshop CC2020

Antenna Galaxy NGC 4038/39 LRGB image
Antenna Galaxy NGC 4038/39 LRGB image

Capture Details

TelescopeSidereal Trading 10"F4 CF Newtonian
Camera QSI WSG-8
MountTakahashi NJP
Guide CameraStarlight xpress Lodestar X2
FiltersAstrodon L, R, G & B
Date April, 2019
Exposures 32 x 600 secs (5.2 Hrs)
LocationKilmore, Victoria - Australia

Some 60 million light-years away in the southerly constellation Corvus, two large galaxies are colliding. Stars in the two galaxies, cataloged as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, very rarely collide in the course of the ponderous cataclysm that lasts for hundreds of millions of years. But the galaxies’ large clouds of molecular gas and dust often do, triggering furious episodes of star formation near the centre of the cosmic wreckage. Spanning over 500 thousand light-years, this stunning view also reveals new star clusters and matter flung far from the scene of the accident by gravitational tidal forces.  The suggestive visual appearance of the extended arcing structures gives the galaxy pair its popular name – The Antennae. (text: Apod)

“I’m gonna give you some terrible thrills!”

- George Powell - When Worlds Collide