Hubble Captures Cosmic Face

Katie Ramirez
October 31, 2019

The European Space Agency has released pictures of a "ghostly face" which formed after two galaxies smashed into each other.

"Each "eye" is the bright core of a galaxy, one of which slammed into another".

Although galaxy collisions are common, especially back in the early Universe, majority are not head-on smashups, such as this collision.

The collisions of two galaxies similar in size are uncommon as most collisions involve a small galaxy being devoured by the larger galaxy.

The face is known as a "ring galaxy" that are rather rare, with ideal a pair of hundred spotted in Earth's "greater cosmic neighbourhood". That means the ring we see that makes up the face is ephemeral, only lasting about 100 million years - a short time on the universal time scale. "The crash pulled and stretched the galaxies' disks of gas, dust and stars outward", the statement said.

Arp-Madore 2026-424 is located some 704 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Microscopium.

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While the juxtaposition of the central bulges of the two galaxies is also unusual, the bulges seem similar in size indicating that the colliding galaxies have similar proportions.

'The galaxies need to collide at sterling the correct orientation so that they work collectively to construct the ring, and earlier than lengthy they are going to enjoy merged fully, hiding their messy past, ' ESA added.

Hubble observed this unique system as part of a "snapshot" program that takes advantage of occasional gaps in the telescope's observing schedule to squeeze in additional pictures.

What's creepy about the Hubble image is that it looks like it's staring right at us.

Galaxy collisions are not unusual occurrences, however, majority aren't head-on collisions that may have formed AM 2026-424.

The intention is to compile a robust sample of nearby interacting galaxies, to gain insight into how galaxies develop through galactic mergers. By analyzing these detailed Hubble observations, astronomers will be able to decide which systems are prime targets for follow-up observations by the upcoming NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope, scheduled to launch in 2021.

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