Contact: Charles Blue
National Radio Astronomy Observatory
Caption: ALMA, the VLA, and other telescopes used gravitational lensing to obtain the best view yet of a collision that took place between two galaxies when the Universe was only half its current age. These new studies of the galaxy H-ATLAS J142935.3-002836 have shown that this complex and distant object looks surprisingly like the well-known local galaxy collision, the Antennae Galaxies. The foreground galaxy is doing the lensing and around it is an almost complete ring — the smeared out image of a star-forming galaxy merger far beyond. This picture combines the views from the Hubble Space Telescope and the Keck-II telescope on Hawaii (using adaptive optics) along with the ALMA images shown in red. The ALMA data also give information about the motions of the material in the distant merging galaxies and were vital in unravelling the complex object.
Credit: ESO, ALMA (NRAO/ESO/NAOJ); W.M. Keck Observatory; NASA/ESA
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Related news release: Best view yet of merging galaxies in distant universe