25x30s Observed in Sharpcap 3.2. Saved as viewed.
Observation video log: https://www.youtube....h?v=bkt9YXRrcEw
The Antennae lie about 63 million light-years away, in the NGC 4038 Group of galaxies in the constellations Corvus and Crater. The group's best known galaxies are NGC 4038 and 4039; but NGC 3956, 3957, 3981, 4024, 4027, 4033, and 4050 have also been consistently identified as group members. The group may contain between 13 and 27 galaxies. A recent study finds that these interacting galaxies may closer than previously thought, at 45 million light-years.
In any case, the Antennae are the nearest and youngest example of a pair of colliding galaxies. About 1.2 billion years ago, the Antennae were two separate galaxies; NGC 4038 was a spiral, and NGC 4039 was a barred spiral. Before the galaxies collided, NGC 4039 was probably larger than NGC 4038. 900 million years ago, the Antennae began to approach one another, appearing similar to NGC 2207 and IC 2163. 600 million years ago, the Antennae passed through each other, like the Mice Galaxies (NGC 4676 in Coma Berenices). 300 million years ago, the collision began to release the Antennae's stars, as each galaxy's gravitation has drawn out a curved tail of stars from the other. Today the two streamers of ejected stars extend far beyond the original galaxies, spanning a total of some 360,000 light-years.
Within 400 million years, the Antennae's nuclei will collide and become a single core with stars, gas, and dust around it. Observations and simulations of colliding galaxies suggest that the Antennae will eventually form a single elliptical galaxy. This is likely the future of our Milky Way when it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy; most galaxies probably undergo at least one significant collision in their lifetimes.
Edited by S1mas, 26 March 2019 - 05:18 PM.