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The Astroholic

Mergers in G-Major

20 Jul 2016, 07:51 UTC
Mergers in G-Major
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There has been a surprising affinity between astronomy and music. Both needed the inspiration of the muses to be performed in Ancient Greece, and expressions like the Music of the Spheres just shows the profound link between these two realms of human genius.
In space, nobody can hear you scream, but it didn’t stop Coltrane or Holst to be inspired by it in their incredible works.
But astronomers are just as passionate about music, as musicians may be about astronomy.
And here’s my contribution from my niche of expertise. Three bands of galactic proportion.

First up is Robert’s Quartet, a small and dense group of galaxies approximately 160 million light-years away.
This multiple collision shows four different galaxies in the process of merging, NGC 87, NGC 88, NGC 89 and NGC 92. A fifth galaxy, NGC 101, is also loosely related.

Next, is Stephan’s Quintet the first compact group ever discovered, observed for the first time in 1877 by French astronomer Édouard Stephan. Robert’s quartet was first observed in 1830 by William Herschel but it was not recognised as it is made of distinct objects.
The Quintet is a visual grouping of five galaxies, four of which are actually merging. ...

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