The galaxy pair NGC 1549-53
Date created: 1982-03-28
NGC 1549 (top) and NGC 1553 are a pair of galaxies in the Dorado group, in the southern sky, unseen from northern latitudes. Each of the galaxies is composed of billions of stars, not seen as individuals on this photograph. They are at a similar distance, about 50 million light years, and are close together in space. On very long exposures there is evidence that the galaxies are interacting, displacing stars from the outskirts of each of them to create a faint network of loops, shells and filament that hint at a more secure merger in the distant future.
Image derived from an AAT plate taken in blue light.
Credit: David Malin
© Australian Astronomical Observatory