The Furnace


From Rolf Wahl Olsen: “This dramatic pair of interacting galaxies is located in the southern constellation Fornax (The Furnace). The largest, NGC 1316, is also known as Fornax A, meaning it is the brightest radio source in Fornax (also the fourth brightest in the entire sky). The strong radio emission originates from its central supermassive black hole.
Visible near its bright centre are many concentric shells that are remnants of past mergers with other galaxies. The formation of such shells is a common observation in computer simulations of merging galaxies. The shells form when the cores of merging galaxies orbit around their common centre of mass in an ever tighter orbit while disrupting the halos of both galaxies and sending billions of stars into eccentric orbits. This process creates outward travelling density waves until the collision eventually settles as one single larger galaxy. Other prominent galaxies display similar shells and one of the finest examples is Centaurus A.”
See more of his work here >>

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