NGC 4038-39, the galaxies of "The Antennae"
AAO image reference AATCCD 3.     « Previous || Next »

the galaxies of The Antennae
Top left is NE. Image width is about 24 arc min
Image and text © 1999-2002, Australian Astronomical Observatory, Photograph by Steve Lee and David Malin.


NGC 4038 and 4039 are the well-known pair of interacting galaxies that show two broadly curved tails of stars, the 'antennae', extending a considerable distance from the action. This distinctive display is seen on deep images and gives the structure its popular name and seems to have distracted attention from the interacting galaxies themselves. It is possible that one of the two disc galaxies involved was a 'gas-less spiral' (S0), because the most southerly of the pair is distinctly yellow, while the outer parts its companion are bluer. The colour picture reveals the burst of star formation triggered by the encounter, the large numbers of pink emission nebulae in the inter-galaxy region and the location of the numerous dark, brownish-yellow clouds of dust. The yellow nuclei of the two galaxies are also still visible in the colour picture as separate entities.

Entry from NGC 2000.0 (R.W. Sinnott, Ed.) © Sky Publishing Corporation, 1988:
NGC 4038  Gx 12 01.9  -18 52 s  Crv2.6  10.7  pB, cL, R, vgbM
NGC 4039  Gx 12 01.9  -18 53 s  Crv3.2  13. p pF, pL 
More data about this galaxy is accessible from the hotlinked NGC name and is reproduced
with permission from the NASA/IPAC Extragalactic Database (NED).

Related Images
n4038_d     NGC 4038-39, deep image
AAT 65      NGC 4038-39, the galaxies of "The Antennae"

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