Siamese Twins Galaxies

Spiral galaxy pair NGC 4567 and NGC 4568 (in center) share this area with lonely elliptical galaxy NGC 4564 (on left). All are members of the large Virgo Galaxy Cluster. With their classic spiral arms, dust lanes, and star clusters, the eye-catching spiral pair is also known as the “Siamese Twins” galaxies because they appear to be tightly connected.

Very close together, the galaxy twins don’t seem to be too distorted by gravitational tides. Their giant molecular clouds are known to be colliding though and are likely fueling the formation of massive star clusters. The galaxy twins are about 52 million light-years distant, while their bright cores appear separated by about 20,000 light-years. Of course, the foreground stars lie within our own Milky Way.

I took this image in January 2021 over 22.5 hours. (51 images of 20 minutes each in Luminance and 11 images each of 10 minutes for each color)

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