Arp 273, located approximately 300 light years from the Earth in the constellation of Andromeda, is comprised of two interacting galaxies. These galaxies are designated UGC 1810 for the larger and UGC 1813 for the smaller one. Both galaxies have been greatly distorted by mutual gravitational tidal forces giving the larger galaxy a “rose like” appearance. There is evidence that is that the smaller of the two has actually passed through the larger galaxy. The gravitational interactions between the galaxies triggered a large amount of active stellar formation. This is evident of the bright blue patches seen in the image. These areas are composed of clusters of massive hot blue stars.
The Hubble Heritage team released the Arp 273 image in celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope's 21st launch anniversary,
This image was assembled with data obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive. Three filtered images were used for the red, green and blue channels. These were imaged using filters of f600lp for red, f475x for green and f390w for blue. An image consisting of a combination of thes filters was used for the luminance channel. This image is classified in the Hubble Legacy Archive as a detection, or white light, image. The color image was created as a standard LRGB image.
1Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive, which is a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI/NASA), the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF/ESA) and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC/NRC/CSA).