Odd couple in the Virgo galaxy cluster
Giant elliptical galaxy M60 and spiral galaxy NGC 4647 do look like an odd couple in this sharp cosmic portrait from the Hubble Space Telescope.
But they are found in a region of space where galaxies tend to gather, on the eastern side of the nearby Virgo Galaxy Cluster.
About 54 million light-years distant, bright M60’s simpler egg-like shape is created by its randomly swarming older stars, while NGC 4647’s young blue stars, gas and dust are organized into winding arms rotating in a flattened disk.
Spiral NGC 4647 is estimated to be more distant than M60, some 63 million light-years away. … The smaller NGC 4647 spans around 90,000 light-years, about the size of our own Milky Way.
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