NGC 7727
NGC 7727 - Clash of the Titans
While the movie Clash of the Titans may be an epic thriller, nothing compares to the immensity, intrigue, and beauty when two of the most titanic objects known to exist, clash. NGC 7727 is not a single galaxy, but two separate (likely spiral) galaxies that are nearing the final process of merging into one larger galaxy after a billions year clash. Look closely and you can even trace the path the galactic nuclei took starting from lower left and circling each other five to six countable times in this image. A close up image below also clearly shows two bright points of light near the center. The bringer one is certainly the center of the larger original galaxy. The fainter may well be the second nuclei or merely a foreground star. At the center of each these two nuclei is a super massive black hole containing millions of stellar masses each compressed into an infinitesimally small point. These black holes will circle each other for many millions of years before combining masses. The final appearance of the galaxy is still not well predicted but it is likely to be an elliptical galaxy mostly devoid of spiral arms or dust lanes necessary for new star formation. Stats for this galaxy are as follows: RA: 23h 39m 53.5s, Dec: -12° 17' 38", Mag: 11.5 (B), Size: 4.7'x3.5', Class: SAB(s)a pec.
Optics: RC Optical System 20" F/8.2 (4165.6 mm Focal Length) Date: Oct 2009 & 2010
Camera: SBIG ST10XME with Adaptive Optics Location: Columbus, Texas
Exposure: LRGB =  540:140:130:150 minutes Imager: Kent E. Biggs
NGC 7727