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The Hubble Space Telescope
Arp 274

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

On April 1-2, 2009, the Hubble Space Telescope photographed Arp 274, the winning target in the Space Telescope Science Institute's 2009 "You Decide" competition, run in celebration of the International Year of Astronomy (IYA).

This group of galaxies received 67,021 votes out of the nearly 140,000 votes cast for the six candidate targets.

Arp 274, also known as NGC 5679, is a system of three galaxies that appear to be partially overlapping in the image, although they may be at somewhat different distances. Two of the three galaxies are forming new stars at a high rate. This is evident in the bright blue knots of star formation that are strung along the arms of the galaxy on the right and along the small galaxy on the left.

The largest component is located in the middle of the three. It appears as a spiral galaxy, which may be barred. The entire system resides at about 400 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo.