NASA Hubble Snaps Galaxy Collision In Spectacular Detail

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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has done it yet again. The telescope has chronicled a detailed image of the galactic duo UGC 2369 charging closer to each other. The UGC 2369 is a pair of two galaxies that are slowing merging into one another due to the close proximity.

NASA Hubble Snaps Galaxy Collision In Spectacular Detail

 

As a part of the process, the shape of both the galaxies is getting distorted. Individually, the Northern Galaxy UGC 2369 (UGC 2369N) and the Southern Galaxy UGC 2369 (UGC 2369S) are fusing into each other due to the strong gravitational pull with no scope of escape.

The ESA said: "This galactic duo is known as UGC 2369. The galaxies are interacting, meaning that their mutual gravitational attraction is pulling them closer and closer together and distorting their shapes in the process."

Well, NASA's Hubble made the most of the opportunity and captured the galaxies' twist and contorts. As seen in the image, the distance between the galaxies is filled with huge amounts of stellar gas and cosmic dust.

"A tenuous bridge of gas, dust, and stars can be seen connecting the two galaxies, created when they pulled out into space across the diminishing divide between them," the ESA noted.

NASA has noted that these interactions among galaxies are a very common event. For huge galaxies such as ours, most of such incidents involve dwarf galaxies. However, a momentous event occurs every billion years. It is believed that the Milky Way, one day, will collide with the neighbor Andromeda galaxy, which is bigger than the former.

In a statement, NASA said, "Interaction with others is a common event in the history of most galaxies. For larger galaxies like the Milky Way, the majority of these interactions involve significantly smaller so-called dwarf galaxies. But every few billion years, a more momentous event can occur. For our home galaxy, the next big event will take place in about four billion years, when it will collide with its bigger neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. Over time, the two galaxies will likely merge into one - already nicknamed Milkomeda."

 

What's imperative to note is that the Hubble Space Telescope in this case is operated by the European Space Agency (ESA).

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