NASA has released a colorful image snapped by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope of the galaxy pair Arp 303.
Arp 303 lies in the constellation of Sextans, approximately 275 million light-years away.
The pair was discovered on March 21, 1893 by the French astronomer Stéphane Javelle.
It consists of the barred spiral galaxy IC 563 (bottom right) and the spiral galaxy IC 564 (top left).
Otherwise known as ECO 5809, LEDA 28032 and IRAS 09437+0317, IC 563 is about 70,000 light-years across.
Its neighbor, IC 564 (also known as ECO 5820, LEDA 28033 and UGC 5230), has a diameter of 135,000 light-years.
The new color image of Arp 303 was obtained by aligning data from both Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS).
Several filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.
“The image holds data from two separate Hubble observations of Arp 303,” Hubble astronomers explained.
“The first used the WFC3 camera to study the pair’s clumpy star-forming regions in infrared light.”
“Galaxies like IC 563 and IC 564 are very bright at infrared wavelengths and host many bright star-forming regions.”
“The second used the ACS instrument to take quick looks at bright, interesting galaxies across the sky,” they added.
“The observations filled gaps in Hubble’s archive and looked for promising candidates that Hubble, the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, and other telescopes could study further.”
“The colors red, orange, and green represent infrared wavelengths taken with WFC3, and the color blue represents ACS visible light data.”
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