Flies in a spider's web: Galaxy caught in the making

This image is a composite of many separate exposures made by the ACS instrument on the Hubble Space Telescope using several different filters. It shows the Spiderweb Galaxy sitting at the centre of an emergent galaxy cluster, surrounded by hundreds of other galaxies from the cluster.

The image provides a dramatic glimpse of a large massive galaxy under assembly as smaller galaxies merge. This has commonly been thought to be the way galaxies grew in the young Universe, but now the Hubble observations of the radio galaxy MRC 1138-262, nicknamed the "Spiderweb Galaxy", have shown dozens of star-forming satellite galaxies in the actual process of merging.

Credit:

Image credit: NASA, ESA, G. Miley and R. Overzier (Leiden Observatory), and the ACS Science Team

Acknowledgement: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble).

About the Image

NASA caption
Id:heic0614a
Type:Observation
Release date:12 October 2006, 12:00
Related releases:heic0614
Size:1706 x 1706 px

About the Object

Name:LEDA 2826829, MRC 1138-262, Spiderweb Galaxy
Type:• Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Interacting
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:z=2.156 (redshift)

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
475 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
Pseudogreen (B+I)
Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACIS

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