Hickson Compact Group 7 image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This grouping is composed of one lenticular (lens-shaped) and three spiral galaxies in close proximity.
Hickson Compact Groups
According to Hickson: “Most compact groups contain a high fraction of galaxies having morphological or kinematical peculiarities, nuclear radio and infrared emission, and starburst or active galactic nuclei (AGN) activity. They contain large quantities of diffuse gas and are dynamically dominated by dark matter. They most likely form as subsystems within looser associations and evolve by gravitational processes. Strong galaxy interactions result and merging is expected to lead to the ultimate demise of the group. Compact groups are surprisingly numerous, and may play a significant role in galaxy evolution.”
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