Shocked gas in Stephan's Quintet
Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/INAF-Brera/G.Trinchieri et al.; Optical: Pal.Obs. DSS

Shocking Revelations Among the Quintet

Stephan's Quintet is a small group of galaxies in the constellation Pegasus. The galaxies are not only close on the sky but are physically close in space. So close in fact that they interact gravationally with each other. A new Chandra observation details the results of this interaction. The image above (upper left) is a composite of a Chandra X-ray image of the Quintet (shown in blue), superimposed on an optical image showing the locations of the Quintet galaxies, which are marked A,B,D, E & F on the lower right image). The X-ray image shows a "blue glow" produced hot gas in a bow shock in front of the "intruder" galaxy B. The gas in the bow shocked is heated to temperatures of millions of degrees by the motion of galaxy B through the inter-galactic gas in the group.

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Page Author: Dr. Michael F. Corcoran
Last modified Friday, 20-Apr-2012 15:25:30 EDT