Hubble Contest Winner Arp 274 in Full Color!

You voted, and [unlike with Stephen Colbert] NASA listened. Now the good folks at Hubble have released this sparkling new image of the interacting galaxy group known as Arp 274:

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—Image courtesy NASA, ESA, M. Livio and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

According to NASA, the galactic trio received 67,021 votes out of the nearly 140,000 cast among the six candidate targets.

Previous shots of Arp 274, which sits about 400 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo, showed the object smallish, blurred, and only in shades of gray.

The new image combines data from three kinds of light filters to show the different types of stars within the galaxies in bright color.

Older stars pictured in yellow lie in the central bulges of each galaxy. Globs of younger blue stars line two of the galaxies’ spiral arms, while the light from new star formation makes nebulae in the arms glow pink.

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