Featured Image: A Galaxy Plunges Into a Cluster Core

The galaxy that takes up most of the frame in this stunning image (click for the full view!) is NGC 1427A. This is a dwarf irregular galaxy (unlike the fortuitously-located background spiral galaxy in the lower right corner of the image), and it’s currently in the process of plunging into the center of the Fornax galaxy cluster. Marcelo Mora (Pontifical Catholic University of Chile) and collaborators have analyzed observations of this galaxy made by both the Very Large Telescope in Chile and the Hubble Advanced Camera for Surveys, which produced the image shown here as a color composite in three channels. The team worked to characterize the clusters of star formation within NGC 1427A — identifiable in the image as bright knots within the galaxy — and determine how the interactions of this galaxy with its cluster environment affect the star formation within it. For more information and the original image, see the paper below.


Marcelo D. Mora et al 2015 AJ 150 93. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/93