New Hubble Images Reveal Plethora of Interacting Galaxies

by Nancy Atkinson on April 24, 2008

59 new images from the Hubble Space Telescope show some very unusual but incredibly spectacular colliding galaxies. Colliding or interacting galaxies are found throughout the Universe, and sometimes these collisions trigger bursts of star formation, or the mergers form new galaxies. The image above shows the aftermath of an encounter between two galaxies, resulting in a ring-shaped galaxy and a long-tailed companion. Officially called Arp 148, it also has the nickname ‘Mayall’s object.’ It is located in the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear, approximately 500 million light-years away. These images are the largest collection from Hubble ever published simultaneously, and they celebrate the 18th anniversary of Hubble’s launch. And there’s more….

This is a stunning snapshot of a celestial dance performed by a pair of similar sized galaxies. ESO 77-14 is in the constellation of Indus, the Indian, some 550 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy on the right has a long, bluish arm while its companion has a shorter, redder arm.

The Hubble Site has a video about colliding galaxies.

For the entire collection of these images see the Hubble site.

Original News Source: ESA press release


Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

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