Hubble captures image of the Arp 274 group of galaxies

Aug 25, 2011
Credit: NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

( -- Arp 274, also known as NGC 5679, is a system of three galaxies that appear to be partially overlapping in the image, although they may be at somewhat different distances. The spiral shapes of two of these galaxies appear mostly intact. The third galaxy (to the far left) is more compact, but shows evidence of star formation.

Two of the three are forming at a high rate. This is evident in the bright blue knots of that are strung along the arms of the galaxy on the right and along the small galaxy on the left.

The largest component is located in the middle of the three. It appears as a , which may be barred. The entire system resides at about 400 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo.

Hubble’s Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 was used to image Arp 274 in april 2011. Blue, visible and infrared filters were combined with a filter that isolates hydrogen emission. The colors in this image reflect the intrinsic color of the different stellar populations that make up the galaxies. Yellowish older stars can be seen in the central bulge of each galaxy. A bright central cluster of stars pinpoint each nucleus. Younger blue stars trace the spiral arms, along with pinkish nebulae that are illuminated by new star formation. Interstellar dust is silhouetted against the starry population. A pair of foreground stars inside our own Milky Way are at far right.

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User comments : 5

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1 / 5 (3) Aug 25, 2011
Thank you for this interesting report on Arp 274 galaxies.

Professor Arp was and is a great asset to science, an astronomer who made and reported observations even when they were unpopular with those following the old USSR system of science (and mind) control, Lysenkoism:

The temporary success of government-financed Lysenkoism in Western science is fading today as the pubic awakens to reality.

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA Principal
Investigator for Apollo

1 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2011
Galactic evolution? From where did these galaxies form, if not from deep within via core ejections of new matter? Is it not evident that the oldest is the largest? And if these galaxies are gravitationally linked, would we not see more distortion in the outer spiral arms? Nothing conclusive, but another example of suggestive evidence.
5 / 5 (2) Aug 25, 2011
"Is it not evident that the oldest is the largest?"

No, do you have a published source for the mass of the larger component?

"And if these galaxies are gravitationally linked, would we not see more distortion in the outer spiral arms? Nothing conclusive, but another example of suggestive evidence."

Evidence for the ongoing interaction has been studied by many astronomers. See: http://iopscience..._783.pdf

...and refs therein.

Not all galaxies in the early stages of gravitational interaction exhibit obvious signs of gravitational distortion. One well known example: http://en.wikiped..._IC_2163

Where does LaViolette specifically discuss observations of either of these systems and show conclusively these galaxies were formed by the fragmentation of a central massive body?

And Tuxford, you have still avoided commenting on my last 3 points wrt Arp 302: http://www.physor...ion.html
not rated yet Aug 25, 2011
I actually think this is misidentified. I think the photo is from April 3, 2009, not 2011 as reported on NASA IOTD. See the Hubble Heritage April 2009 release "Galaxy Triplet Arp 274". STScI ( and ESA/HEIC ( have press releases on April 3, 2009.
5 / 5 (1) Aug 25, 2011
"I actually think this is misidentified. I think the photo is from April 3, 2009, not 2011 as reported on NASA IOTD...."

I've seen the same sources and a few others. I think the pic has just been (re?)chosen as a NASA IOTD (and dated 2009 in the caption): http://www.nasa.g...045.html