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Interacting Galaxy NGC 7714
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(5 MB)

Photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope

This image shows spiral galaxy NGC 7714, whose tangled shape provides evidence of an encounter with another galaxy.

Facts of interest about the image

NGC 7714 resides approximately 100 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation Pisces.

Classroom activity

Included is an inquiry-based classroom activity that focuses on the image and text.


In this Hubble Space Telescope image, the tangled shape of the spiral galaxy NGC 7714 provides evidence of an encounter with another galaxy (NGC 7715). Several features indicate a dynamic history. The lithograph text describes the appearance of the galaxy and how it is home to an unusually large number of rare Wolf-Rayet stars. An inset image features both NGC 7714 and NGC 7715. Together, the odd-looking pair of galaxies is called Arp 284, after their catalog number in Halton Arp’s "Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies." Included is an inquiry-based classroom activity.

11-12, but the material can be adapted for use in other grades at the teacher's discretion.
How to use in the classroom

An initial source of information for student research. Use the inquiry-based classroom activity "In Search of … Interacting Galaxies," which is included with the lithograph, to have students conduct research and create presentations.

An engagement tool in an inquiry-based lesson. Have students study the image of NGC 7714 on the front of the lithograph and the labeled inset image on the back. Ask them to write down as many questions as they can about the images. The students' questions can be used in a variety of ways:

  • Ask students to find the answers to their questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

  • Have students exchange papers so that each student has someone else's questions. Then have them find the answers to their partner's questions by reading the back of the lithograph and/or the related materials listed below.

  • Gather the questions into a list by asking students to volunteer to read their questions while you, the teacher, or a student records them on the board or on an overhead projector transparency. Ask students to raise their hands if they have the same or a similar question. Count the number of hands raised and record this number next to the question. Once all the students' questions have been added to the list, have students search for the answers to their questions in the text on the back of the lithograph. When they complete that task, ask them to decide if each of their questions was answered completely, answered partially, or not answered at all. Go through the original list and place an "A" in front of the questions that were answered completely, a "P" for those that were partially answered, and an "N" for those that were not answered at all. Determine if the most commonly asked questions were also answered completely. Encourage students to do further research to find answers to the unanswered questions.

A content reading tool. Have students read the back of the lithograph, and then write a quiz for the class.

Related materials