M60 NGC4647 Galaxy Pair

M60 is the third-brightest giant elliptical galaxy of the Virgo cluster of galaxies, and is the dominant member of a subcluster of four galaxies, which is the closest-known isolated compact group of galaxies. M60 has several satellite galaxies visible as diffuse blobs around the main galaxy. M60 is situated in 55 million light-years distance.

Spiral galaxy NGC 4647 appears approximately 2.5 arc-min away from Messier 60; the optical disks of the two galaxies overlap. Although this overlap suggests that the galaxies are interacting, photographic images of the two galaxies do not reveal any evidence for gravitational interactions between the two galaxies as would be suggested if the two galaxies were physically close to each other. However, recent studies by the Hubble Space Telescope show indications that tidal interactions may have just begun. The distance to NGC4647 is 58 million light-years. The pair together is also known as Arp 116.

In the upper left corner the two galaxies - elliptical NGC4667 and spiral NGC4637 are situated.

Image data
LRGB (480-120-120-120 min) total 14 h, north is down, seeing 0.8-1.4 arc-sec, north is down
80cm f/7 Astrooptik Keller cassegrain, FLI PL-16803, Astrodon filters, Prompt 7 CTIO Chile

Processing: Johannes Schedler

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Last modified on Thursday, 23 June 2016 22:24

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