Video simulation showing artist’s impression of dwarf galaxy M60-UCD1's formation

This video simulation shows how the small dense galaxy M60-UCD1 may have been formed.

The video begins with a background image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, with the huge elliptical galaxy M60 in the centre, galaxy NGC 4647 in the upper right, and MC60-UCD1 to the bottom right of the large Messier 60 (also known as M60).

In the simulation a yellow and red galaxy orbits M60. The red material represents stars. Over an estimated 500 million years, M60’s gravity strips away the red material from the orbiting galaxy, leaving behind a remnant ultracompact dwarf galaxy now known as M60-UCD1.

The end of the video zooms in on a Hubble image of M60-UCD1, which today continues to orbit M60.

Evidence for this process comes from a study published in Nature on 18th September 2014 in which a monster black hole was discovered at the centre of the dwarf. The black hole makes up 15 percent of the mass of the entire galaxy, making it much too big to have formed inside a dwarf galaxy.


NASAESA, H. Baumgardt (University of Queensland)

About the Video

Release date:17 September 2014, 19:00
Related releases:heic1419
Duration:49 s
Frame rate:30 fps

About the Object

Name:M 60, M60-UCD1, Messier 60, NGC 4647
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Elliptical
Local Universe : Galaxy : Size : Dwarf



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