Atomic Gas in the 'Atoms for Peace' Galaxy

Minimum credit line: Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI and J. Hibbard & J. van Gorkom(for details, see Image Use Policy).

About this Image

A composite image of the optical light (green), star forming regions (yellow and pink), and cold atomic hydrogen gas (blue) in the well known merger remnant NGC 7252, the "Atoms for Peace" galaxy. The nickname of this object derives from its optical appearance, specifically the pair of tidal tails (reminiscent of a peace sign) and the loops of material surrounding the optical body (reminiscent of early depictions of an atom). This system is the result of two spiral galaxies which collided and merged into a single object. The atomic hydrogen observations, taken with the VLA in its C- and D-array configurations, show the tidal tails to be rich in gas, confirming the gas-rich nature of the progenitor disks. They also show the inner regions to be relatively free of cold atomic gas. These observations support the idea that two gas-rich disk galaxies can merge together to form a circular gas-poor object similar to an early-type galaxy.

Investigator(s):  J. Hibbard & J. van Gorkom

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Technical Data

    Telescope VLA 
    Date of Observation 1989-12-12 
    Type of Observation Spectral Line Observations 
    Wavelength 21 cm 
    Frequency 1420.4 MHz 
    Species HI 
    Center of Image RA: 22:17:53.20, Dec: -24:54:26.00 (B1950)  
    Field of View 0.2100 x 0.1250 degrees  
    Technical Caption VLA C+D array observations with a resolution of 27"x16". Optical image is B-band image taken by P. Guhathakurta with the CTIO 4m telescope. The continuum subtracted Halpha image was taken using the KPNO 2.1m telescope.  

  • Astronomical database entries for NGC7252
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    • Query SIMBAD for more NGC7252 data


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