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Colliding Galaxies Arp 273


There are many instances where galaxies appear to be interacting with each other enough to cause obvious distortions of the galaxies that interact. These interactions may have a significant connections with the manner in which galaxies evolve with time.

 The adjacent pair of interacting spiral galaxies in the constellation Andromeda at a distance of about 200 million light years is called Arp 273 (Source). The larger galaxy at the upper left is strongly tidally distorted. The companion (seen edge-on in the lower right) exhibits a relatively undisturbed spiral disk, but a luminous, star burst nucleus (one in which there is a burst of new star formation). The nucleus of the large spiral has properties indicating much less activity than the bright nucleus of its companion. Thus, the large galaxy has a modified disk but little evidence of damage to its nucleus, while the small galaxy has an undisturbed disk but a very active nucleus.




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