Thursday, 30 Oct, 2008 Science

Hubble Took an Amazing Picture of Two Interacting Galaxies


When Hubble telescope was finally brought back online it went down to business immediately, making some terrific photos of the gravitationally interacting galaxies, dubbed Arp 147. The telescope was able to take the amazing images thanks to its Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2).

After analyzing the image, specialists concluded that the telescope, which is an international project of NASA and ESA, has its camera working the same way it did before Hubble went offline. Scientists gave the picture a "perfect 10" for the performance, as well as for its beauty.

The image shows that the left-most galaxy is somewhat intact, apart from the ring of starlight. The galaxy is called the "one," while the "zero" is the second right-most galaxy, which shows a blue ring of star formation. The blue ring appeared after the left-most galaxy went through the right-most one. When the two galaxies met, their impact generated the ring just like a stone which was thrown into a pond, creating outwardly circular rings, reports the European Website for NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

As the surplus of density smashed with outer material, which was heading inwards because of the gravitational pull of the left and right galaxies, this generated shocks and dense gas, which in its turn stimulated the formation of a star.

At the lower left side of the blue ring you can see a ruddy knot, which is probably the place of the original nucleus of the stricken galaxy. Hubble Space Telescope took picture of the Arp 147 on October 27-28, 2008. The galaxy pair lies in the constellation of Cetus, found over 400 million light-years away from our planet.

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