Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Matterhorn at night

I've been traveling a lot lately to Switzerland, twice getting really close to the Matterhorn after our dear star was hidden from sight by the edge of the Earth. Enjoying the cold, I took a few pictures, out of which I like this one best. 

Polaring ring galaxies at their best: NGC 660

NGC 660 is a polar ring galaxy, found about 20 million light years away towards the constellation of Pisces. Polar ring galaxies are named as such as a substantial proportion of the stellar population, gas and dust orbit the galaxy in rings. These rings are thought to be created by interaction with a neighbouring galaxy.

This image was obtained in late September 2013 as part of the first light tests for the new Prime Focus Imaging Platform (PFIP) mounted on the 4.2m William Herschel Telescope. The false color image is composed of a total of ~40 minutes of Johnson-Bessel BVR data.

Credits: Alex Tudorică (AIfA and ING collaborator) and Ovidiu Vaduvescu (ING).