NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) often delights space enthusiasts with updates on the latest discoveries regarding galaxies, stars, and planets within our solar system. She also shares eye-catching photos taken by her spacecraft. Now, in its latest publication, the space agency has dropped a mesmerizing image of a pair of interacting galaxies known as Arp-Madore 2339-661. This image is located approximately 500 million light-years from Earth, and the image was taken using NASA and the European Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope.
“Galactic tango! This stunning #HubbleFriday image captures the gravitationally interacting pair of galaxies known as Arp-Madore 2339-661,” NASA wrote in the caption.
Take a look below:
The two galaxies are in the process of merging, according to a statement issued by the center European Space Agency. One galaxy is known as NGC 7733 – the smaller galaxy shown at the bottom right – and the other is NGC 7734 – the larger galaxy shown at the top left. However, there is another galaxy hidden in the starry spiral arm of the smaller galaxy, referred to as NGC 7733N.
“The third galaxy is currently referred to as NGC 7733N, and can be spotted in this image if you look carefully at the upper arm of NGC 7733, where there is a noticeable knot-like structure, glowing in a different color than the galaxy. Its arm is obscured by dark dust,” the European Space Agency wrote in its blog. .
“This could easily pass as part of NGC 7733, but analysis of the velocities (speed, but also taking into account direction) involved in the galaxy shows that this node has a significant additional redshift, which means that it is very likely that it is its own entity and not part Of which”. She added that NGC 7733.
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Moreover, according to the European Space Agency, the three galaxies are located relatively close to each other in the Toucan constellation and gravitationally interact with each other. In fact, some scientific literature refers to them as a “merged group,” meaning they will eventually become a single entity, the ESA said.
Meanwhile, since posting it, the photo has garnered nearly 7 lakh likes on Instagram.
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