NASA has released a new image of two breathtaking galaxies shaping each other with the strength of their gravities. The astonishing image was captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.
On the left side of the image, the galaxy that’s been dubbed NGC 6285 is being inclined and distorted by the galaxy on the right, dubbed NGC 6286. Both these galaxies form the stellar duo Arp 293, which is located in the constellation Draco the Dragon, nearly 290 million light-years from Earth.
As the galaxies dive closer to each other, their gravities absorb the stellar gas and cosmic dust present in the space between stars. The capture depicts the frail vines of stellar material dimming the edges of both galaxies. At times, the gravitational attraction between the two galaxies is way too forceful to defeat, making them fall towards each other, crash and blend together.
The Milky Way is specifically designed to merge with the Andromeda galaxy, which is nearby, in about four to five billion years. However, in this case, the two galaxies are nowhere near a collision.
ESA scientists managing the Hubble Space Telescope said that while the majority of galaxies live their own separate and individual lives, others venture a bit too close to a near neighbor and merge with another galaxy. The two bodies in the image captured by the powerful telescope have done exactly that.
“Together, the duo is named Arp 293, and they are interacting, their mutual gravitational attraction pulling wisps of gas and streams of dust from them, distorting their shapes, and gently smudging and blurring their appearances on the sky — to Earth-based observers, at least,” they said.
Galaxy Expels Taffy-Like Tail of Gas
Hubble Space Telescope is operated by both NASA and ESA, and it allowed the world to see multiple examples of galaxies merging with one another due to their gravities.
In a similar case, Hubble captured what seems to be a spaceship flying straight into a wormhole. However, the astonishing photography actually reveals the ongoing impact of a long-tailed and a ring-formed galaxy.
The merged cosmic body, known as Arp 148, is located approximately 500 million light-years away in the galaxy dubbed Ursa Major.
NASA said that the long-tailed mate perpendicular to the ring implies the fact that Arp 148 is a unique capture of a collision in progress.
“Infrared observations reveal a strong obscuration region that appears as a dark dust lane across the nucleus in optical light,” the space agency said.
In another photograph, the telescope managed to grasp an image of a colliding galaxy duo looking strikingly similar to a ‘penguin fiercely guarding its precious egg.’
According to the space agency, the amazing Hubble Space Telescope image, which depicts what seems to be a profile of a celestial bird, contradicts the idea that close meeting grounds between galaxies are a complex activity.
“This interacting galaxy duo is collectively called Arp 142. The pair contains the disturbed, star-forming spiral galaxy NGC 2936, along with its elliptical companion, NGC 2937 at lower left,” NASA explained.
The gravitational forces depicted in the image have discarded the gas from one of the galaxies into a long trajectory resembling a stretched candy.