National Astronomical Observatory of Japan

A “Brook of Stars” Flowing through a Galaxy


A “Brook of Stars” Flowing through a Galaxy

This image captured by the Subaru Telescope shows a “brook of stars” flowing through a galaxy. This stream of stars is actually the result of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4449 (lower left) devouring another nearby dwarf galaxy (upper right). Here the two galaxies are at the point of merging. The Subaru Telescope with its wide field of view and high angular resolution was able to clearly resolve individual stars in the galaxy being devoured. NGC 4449 is also famous as a galaxy exhibiting a high star formation rate; its core shines blue indicating vigorous star formation activity. In contrast, the red light visible in NGC 4449’s periphery and the galaxy being absorbed, is due to the pressence of old red giant stars.

Text by: Hideaki Fujiwara (Subaru Telescope)
Translation by: Ramsey Lundock (NAOJ)

Image Data

ObjectIrregular galaxy NCG 4449 (in the constellation Canes Venatici)
TelescopeThe Subaru Telescope
Wavelengthsg’ band (481 nm), r’ band (632 nm), i’ band (771 nm), [OIII] narrow line filter (503 nm); created by combining the Subaru Telescope image with an image taken at Blackbird Observatory, U.S.A.
DateJanuary 4-5, 2011 (UT)
CreditNational Astronomical Observatory of Japan, R. Jay GaBany


Related Links