New look at Stephan’s Quintet

Stephan's Quintet  Image credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/E. O'Sullivan Optical: Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope/Coelum

Stephan's Quintet Image credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/CfA/E. O'Sullivan Optical: Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope/Coelum

The Chandra X-ray Observatory offers a new look at Stephan’s Quintet.  The curved, light-blue ridge of glowing gas that seems to cut through the heart of Stephan’s Quintet was revealed by x-ray data from Chandra.  The four galaxies the ridge runs between are NGC 7317, NGC 7318a, NGC 7318b and NGC 7319.  These four galaxies are approximately 280 million light years from Earth.  The spiral galaxy in the foreground is much closer to Earth at a mere 35 million light year away.  Stephan’s Quintet was discovered in 1877 and named a quintet due to the fact that astronomers of the time thought all five galaxies were grouped close together.  You can learn more about this image on the NASA website.

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