Scientists from the European Southern Observatory showed a photograph of the cosmic structure HCG 86. It is located at a distance of 270 million light years from Earth in the constellation Sagittarius.
The structure consists of four galaxies, which are located at a short distance from each other. You can see how they form a shape in the form of a triangle: three galaxies are arranged in a row, and one more is below. The authors of the image note that the bright object to the right of the galaxies is not part of the HCG 86 structure.
HCG stands for Hickson Compact Group, a catalog of close galaxy groups published by Paul Hickson in 1982. The catalog includes 100 clusters. The most famous group on Hickson’s list is HCG 92, also known as Stephen’s Quintet.
The photo was taken with the VLT Survey Telescope (VST), which is located at ESO Observatory on Mount Cerro Paranal in Chile. This system is equipped with a 268 megapixel OmegaCAM camera. On the basis of the VST, among other things, neighboring galaxies, extragalactic and inner planetary nebulae are studied, and surveys of faint objects and microlensing events are carried out.