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A Close Relationship
Arp 293, NGC 6285, NGC 6286
RA 16h 58m 27.22s Dec 58° 56' 45.07"
250 million light years
6285 - 14
6286 - 13
6285 - 0.9 x 0.45 arcmin
6286 - 1.25 x 1.1 arcmin
2.30 x 1.82 arcminutes
North is 146.1° left of vertical
ESA/Hubble & NASA, K. Larson et al.
November 25, 2019
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Some galaxies are closer friends than others. While many live their own separate, solitary lives, others stray a little too close to a near neighbor and take their relationship to the next level.
The galaxies in this Picture of the Week, NGC 6285 on the left and NGC 6286 on the right, has done just that! Together, the duo is named Arp 293 and they are interacting, their mutual gravitational attraction pulling wisps of gas and streams of dust from them, distorting their shapes, and gently smudging and blurring their appearances on the sky to Earth-based observers, at least.
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has viewed a number of interacting pairs. These can have distinctive, beautiful, and downright odd shapes, ranging from sheet music to a spaceship entering a sci-fi-esque wormhole, a bouquet of celestial blooms, and a penguin fiercely guarding its precious egg.
Arp 293 is located in the constellation of Draco (The Dragon), and lies over 250 million light-years from Earth. They were discovered by Lewis Swift on August 13, 1885.