Space, the final frontier…
This is the blog of the triple galaxy merger the Enterprise. Its summer long mission: to investigate the properties of this triple merger through measurements of its collisional velocity, metallicity and the emission line ratios.
Galaxy mergers are the most violent galaxy interactions that occur within our Universe, and play a key role in galaxy growth and evolution throughout the history of the universe. Mergers occur when galaxies are close enough to become gravitationally bound and eventually collide with each other. As galaxies collide the gravitational tidal force of their approach results in a huge increase the number of stars which are born and an increase in the activity of the central supermassive black holes.
The Enterprise Triple Merger was identified last year during the PIGEON survey of a MUSE VR7 datacube, which was imaged using the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) instrument on the Very Large Telescope (VLT). By investigating the properties of the Enterprise Merger we hope to better understand how these violent galaxy mergers shaped the universe we see today. So, we boldly go where no one has gone before!