Hubble Space Telescope snaps smiley-shaped cluster of galaxies

Katie Ramirez
November 8, 2018

On Saturday, it posted an image on its Instagram handle that showed two yellow orbs above an arc of light - painting a smiley face in space.

'Just below center is a formation of galaxies akin to a smiling face, ' NASA writes.

NASA says the "mouth" is created by a trick of the light. "Her world passed near a massive object in its way, causing it to become distorted and stretched", explained NASA astronomers. These galaxies got its name because of the regions of active formation of young blue stars, which are usually located near their cores.

Hubble captured the image in an effort to understand how new stars spring to life throughout the cosmos. These stellar nurseries usually grow unstable and will later collapse under gravity that will, in turn, emerge as the seeds that will grow into new stars. So, it was discovered the most distant from the Earth a single star, which is located at a distance of nine billion light-years. It's important to study stellar formation within different galaxies to gain a richer context, which is why Hubble had its gaze fixed on a galaxy cluster.

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Scientists Agency NASA space telescope has recorded the structure, which is very similar to a smile, said "NV" with reference to Science Alert.

Originally set to last 15 years, Hubble has now been in action making scientific discoveries for more than 28 years.

It orbits Earth at a speed of about 17,000 mph in low Earth orbit at about 340 miles in altitude.

Hubble's primary mirror is 2.4 meters (7 feet, 10.5 inches) across and in total is 13.3 meters (43.5 feet) long - the length of a large school bus.

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