WOW! NASA Hubble Space Telescope spots RARE triple galaxy collision | Tech News

WOW! NASA Hubble Space Telescope spots RARE triple galaxy collision

NASA Hubble Space Telescope has spotted three galaxies in the constellation Bootes that are on collision course and will soon merge into a single galaxy.

By: HT TECH
| Updated on: Feb 22 2023, 18:29 IST
What is your favourite Hubble Telescope image? NASA wants to know
Triple Galaxy Collision
1/5 If you are interested in space, you must be excited about all the images shared by the various space telescopes. In 2022, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured and shared several beautiful images. And NASA wants to know which one is your favourite Hubble Telescope image of 2022? In its latest Twitter post, NASA's Hubble Telescope has shared 4 images released in 2022 and has asked to vote for your favourite image. It can be known that the four images shared by the Hubble Space Telescope are of DEM L 190, NGC 976, HCG 40, and Terzan 2. (Hubble Space Telescope)
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2/5 DEM L 190, is a remnant from a massive star that died in a supernova blast whose light would have reached Earth thousands of years ago. This filamentary material will eventually be recycled into building new generations of stars. Our own sun and planets are constructed from similar debris of supernovae that exploded in the Milky Way billions of years ago, according to NASA. (Hubble Space Telescope)
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3/5 The galaxy NGC 976 lies around 150 million light-years from the Milky Way in the constellation Aries. Despite its tranquil appearance, NGC 976 has played host to one of the most violent astronomical phenomena known – a supernova explosion. These cataclysmically violent events take place at the end of the lives of massive stars and can outshine entire galaxies for a short period. While supernovae mark the deaths of massive stars, they are also responsible for the creation of heavy elements that are incorporated into later generations of stars and planets. (Hubble Space Telescope)
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4/5 The Hickson Compact Group 40 (HCG 40) is an unusual close-knit collection of five galaxies. This menagerie includes three spiral-shaped galaxies, an elliptical galaxy, and a lenticular (lens-like) galaxy. Somehow, these different galaxies crossed paths in their evolution to create an exceptionally crowded and eclectic galaxy sampler. Caught in a leisurely gravitational dance, the whole group is so crowded that it could fit within a region of space that is less than twice the diameter of our Milky Way's stellar disk. (Hubble Space Telescope)
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5/5 The Terzan 2 is a globular cluster in the constellation Scorpio. Globular clusters are stable, tightly gravitationally bound clusters of tens of thousands to millions of stars found in a wide variety of galaxies. The intense gravitational attraction between the closely packed stars gives globular clusters a regular, spherical shape. As a result, images of the hearts of globular clusters, such as this observation of Terzan 2, are crowded with a multitude of glittering stars. (Hubble Space Telescope)
Triple Galaxy Collision
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Check this triple galaxy collision captured by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA)

The NASA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a sensational image. The latest image taken by the in-space telescope showcases three different galaxies which are headed for a collision. While such collisions are common, this one is rare, as each of the trio is currently in the midst of producing new stars. As they combine to form a single large galaxy, the spiral structure of each will be destroyed by gravitational interactions between the three. This extremely rare triple galaxy collision is taking place in the Bootes constellation.

This Hubble Space Telescope image is part of a project which is investigating the origins of the largest galaxies in the universe. Astronomers call such galaxies Brightest Cluster Galaxies (BCGs). They are created either when a large galaxy consumes smaller ones or when gas-rich galaxies collide and merge, as observed in this trio. These cluster galaxies serve as valuable indicators of the development of galactic clusters, which are massive cosmic arrangements comprising hundreds or even thousands of galaxies.

NASA Hubble Space Telescope spots triple galaxy collision

In the image, the three galaxies (collectively known as SDSSCGB 10189), can be observed in close proximity, appearing as though they are in the process of merging. The shapes of these galaxies have already been altered, with noticeable strands of gas and dust connecting them. Additionally, the group of three galaxies is radiating a significant amount of light.

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The three major galaxies that are currently forming stars within SDSSCGB 10189 are situated a mere 50,000 light-years away from one another. Although this distance might appear to be substantial and not likely to result in a collision, it is in fact quite near in cosmic terms. Point in case is the Andromeda Galaxy, our closest neighbour. It is located 2.5 million light years from the Sun.

Astronomers are waiting for this collision to happen as the merger could turn into a BCG and it can finally shed some light on how these massive galaxies are formed. Of course, don't hold your breath!

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First Published Date: 22 Feb, 18:28 IST
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