A’impressive image of NASA / ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows Arp 298, an extraordinary pair of interacting galaxies. Arp 298, which includes the two galaxies NGC 7469 and IC 5283, is located approximately 200 million light years from Earth in the constellation of Pegasus. The larger of the two galaxies is the barred spiral galaxy NGC 7469, and IC 5283 is its tiny companion. NGC 7469 also hosts an active, supermassive black hole and a bright ring of star clusters.
The “Arp” in the name of this pair of galaxies means that they are listed in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies compiled by astronomer Halton Arp. The Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies is a gallery of strange and wonderful galaxies containing peculiar structures, with galaxies that show everything from segmented spiral arms to concentric rings. This pair of interacting galaxies is a familiar sight for Hubble, a portrait of the merging galaxies in Arp 298 was released in 2008.
This image of Arp 298 contains the data of three observations of Separate Hubble. Combining these three observations with seven different filters from two of Hubble’s instruments, the Wide Field Camera 3 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys, resulted in a very detailed image of the galactic pair.
The Hubble observation planning process begins with a proposal: a detailed plan of what an astronomer intends to observe and their scientific rationale for doing so. Once a year, these proposals are collected and judged in a grueling review process that evaluates their scientific merit and feasibility. Less than 20% of proposed observations in any given year will pass this process and be approved, which makes Hubble observation time very coveted. This system will be one of the first galaxies observed with NASA / ESA / CSA’s James Webb Space Telescope as part of science programs in summer 2022.