Arp 220


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Arp 220

(arp) Two interacting spiral galaxies in the process of merging to form an ultraluminous IRAS galaxy. The galaxy cores are separated by only 1200 light-years, and are surrounded by huge knots of recent star formation.
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Galaxy Merger "The true nature of Arp 220, a peculiar 14th-magnitude galaxy in Serpens Caput, may finally be coming to light.
This 'establishes beyond doubt that Arp 220 is the remnant of the merger of two galaxies,' says Graham, 'an event which triggered the ultraluminous phase now being witnessed.
The astronomers used a worldwide network of radio telescopes in five countries, including Sweden, to be able to create extremely sharp images of the galaxy Arp 220.
The number is nevertheless consistent with how fast stars are forming in Arp 220.
ULIRGs are very likely the dominant mode of cosmic star formation in the early Universe, and Arp 220 is the key object to understand starburst activities in ULIRGs," he added.
Individual cases of strong X-ray clusters are exemplified by elongations and connections as shown in the ejecting galaxy Arp 220, in Abell 3667 and from NGC 720 (again, summarized in Arp, 2003 [4]).
Lonsdale of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena and her collaborators estimate that Arp 220 produces two new supernovas each year, which is four times the rate in Arp 299.
So might scientists spar, were the decade-long debate on the nature of Arp 220 to take place on a television talk show.
In any case, most researchers agree on one point: Arp 220 was created by the violent merger of two gas-rich galaxies, a process amply illustrated in an earlier phase by the Antennae galaxies in Corvus (S&T: March 1998, page 48).
When the Hubble Space Telescope peered into the center of an oddly shaped galaxy called Arp 220, it imaged six densely packed clusters of stars -- the largest star-packed regions ever observed by a telescope.
A LOOK through the pages of this magazine reveals a great variety of seemingly incomprehensible names for celestial objects: Arp 220, MWC 560, Q 0957 + 561, 1E 1740.
In visible light, the galaxy Arp 220 looks unimpressive, but at infrared wavelengths it shines brighter than 100 Milky Ways.