Antennae galaxies facts for kids
NGC 4038 (left) and NGC 4039 (right)
|Observation data (J2000 epoch)|
|Right ascension||12h 01m 53.0s / 12h 01m 53.6s|
|Declination||-18° 52′ 10″ / -18° 53′ 11″|
|Redshift||1642 ± 12 / 1641 ± 9 km/s|
|Distance||45 Mly / 65 Mly|
|Type||SB(s)m pec / SA(s)m pec|
|Apparent dimensions (V)||5′.2 × 3′.1 / 3′.1 × 1′.6|
|Apparent magnitude (V)||11.2 / 11.1|
|Notable features||Interacting galaxies|
|Ringtail Galaxy, NGC 4038 / 4039,
PGC 37967 / 37969, Arp 244, Caldwell 60/61
|See also: Galaxy, List of galaxies|
The collision, with its clouds of gas, dust and magnetic fields, causes extremely rapid star formation. This is their starburst phase, and might last a few hundred million years. They were discovered by William Herschel in 1785.
They are in the NGC 4038 group with five other galaxies. Before The Collision, NGC 4038 was a barred spiral galaxy and NGC 4039 was a spiral galaxy. These two galaxies are known as the Antennae galaxies because they have two long tails of stars, gas and dust ejected from the galaxies as a result of tidal force in the collision that look like an insect’s antennae. The nuclei of the two galaxies are joining to become one giant galaxy, sometime in the future to form an Elliptical galaxy.
These interacting galaxies are nearer and less remote to the Milky Way than previously thought—at 45 million light-years instead of 65 million light-years.
Images for kids
Antennae Galaxies composite of ALMA and Hubble observations
Antennae galaxies Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.