Atomic Gas in The Antennae

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

About this Image

Composite image of the nearby merging galaxy, NGC 4038/9,also known as "The Antennae", due to the antennae-like morphology of its two prominant tidal tails. The image shows a true-color representation of the optical starlight, with the neutral atomic gas depicted in blue. This system is composed of two spiral galaxies which are in the process of slamming together, throwing off two long, narrow tidal streamers. The atomic hydrogen observations, obtained with the VLA, provide information on both the distribution of the gas (as shown), as well as its kinematics. The latter are useful for constraining numerical models of the encounter to help astronomers construct its past and future evolution.

Investigator(s):  J.E.Hibbard, J.M. van der Hulst, J.E. Barnes & R.M. Rich

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Technical Data

    Telescope VLA 
    Date of Observation 1996-06-03 
    Type of Observation Spectral Line Observations 
    Wavelength 21 cm 
    Frequency 1420.4 MHz 
    Species HI 
    Center of Image RA: 12:01:52.48, Dec: -18:52:2.90  
    Field of View 0.3000 x 0.3000 degrees  
    Technical Caption Optical image obtained with the CTIO 0.9m telescope, and is a combination of CCD exposures taken in the Blue, Visible, and Red part of the spectrum. The VLA observations are a combination of C-array and D-array observations  

  • Astronomical database entries for NGC4038
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    • Query SIMBAD for more NGC4038 data


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