ESO 148-2 is a beautiful object that resembles an owl in flight. It consists of a pair of former disc galaxies undergoing a collision. The cores of the two individual galaxies - seen at the centre of the image - are embedded in hot dust and contain a large number of stars. Two huge "wings" sweep out from the centre and curve in opposite directions. These are tidal tails of stars and gas that have been pulled from the easily distorted discs of the galaxies. This "cosmic owl" is one of the most luminous infrared galaxies known and is located some 600 million light-years away from Earth.
This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on 24th April 2008.
NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)
About the Image
|Release date:||24 April 2008, 15:00|
|Size:||2433 x 2433 px|
About the Object
|Type:||• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Interacting|
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
|Distance:||550 million light years|
Colours & filters
|435 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|
|Hubble Space Telescope|
|814 nm||Hubble Space Telescope|