Here’s this week’s image for the “Where In The Universe” challenge. Take a look at the image above and guess what this image might be. Extra points if you can name the spacecraft responsible for the image as well. No peeking below before you make your guess. Ready? You may begin….
You probably just knew I had the Hubble Space Telescope on the brain this week. With its data controller failure, I’ve been browsing Hubble images all week, sighing and hoping (thinking happy thoughts, as I said in an earlier post!) I’ve also spent the past few days cleaning out a closet, so this image fits my current state of mind on all fronts. Its a Hubble image of cosmic dust bunnies. In the image are blobs of cosmic dust lie hidden in the giant elliptical galaxy NGC 1316.
I realize its hard to know the names of all the galaxies out there, so you are a winner if you said “galaxy” and “Hubble.”
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The image shows dust lanes and star clusters in this giant galaxy. Astronomers say these characteristics give a clue as to how this galaxy was formed.
Astronomers conclude that these dusty star clusters give clear evidence of a major collision of two spiral, gas-rich galaxies. The galaxies would have merged together a few billion years ago to shape NGC 1316 as it appears today.
NGC 1316 is about 75 million light-years away on the outskirts of a nearby cluster of galaxies in the southern constellation of Fornax. It is one of the brightest ellipticals in the Fornax galaxy cluster and is also one of the strongest and largest radio sources in the sky.
See more info about this image at the HubbleSite.