Using the VLT (Very Large Telescope) of ESO, an international team of astronomers has discovered, through clouds of dust from the object, a cosmic bird, a rare case of a triple merger of galaxies, known as ESO 593-IG 008.
It's a bird, Tinker Bell or three merging galaxies?
In fact is that astronomers have dubbed this system "The Bird" because of its resemblance to a winged creature.
This superb triple galaxy is composed of two massive spiral galaxies and a third irregular galaxy. Astronomers have produced a very fine single image in three colors, the complete system of three interacting galaxies "The Bird".
NACO image has allowed astronomers to see not only the two previously known galaxies, but to identify a third component clearly distinct, an irregular galaxy, which seems massive enough to form stars at a frantic pace. With the adaptive optics instrument NACO, VLT observations in the near infrared have identified the nature of this triple fusion. This image shows two galaxies interpenetrate perpendicularly, forming the body and wings of "The Bird". As for the head of the bird it is a third irregular galaxy mass, clearly identified by the data of large infrared space telescope Spitzer at NASA. In the head of the bird are born stars at a frantic pace, nearly 200 solar masses per year. This is the main source of infrared luminosity of the triple system, although if it is the smallest of the three galaxies. The other two galaxies appear to be in a calmer phase of their interaction.
The object is about 650 million light years away, however, its wings spread over more than 100,000 light years, roughly the size of our Milky Way.
Image: Tinker Bell is a character created by Sir James Matthew Barrie in his novel 'Peter Pan' to as Tinker Bell. Tinker Bell is in love with Peter Pan and does not hesitate to drink the poison contained in the drug of Peter Pan to save it.
If this cosmic object looks like a bird, you can also see an uncanny resemblance to Tinker bell, spreading its long wings and wriggling his cosmic magic wand.
Image: Stunning image of 21 December 2007, showing the fusion of three galaxies by astronomers called "The Bird", this triple galaxy lies 650 million light years from our system. The resulting mega galaxy, named Tinker Bell Triplet.