In celebration of Halloween, this new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures two galaxies of equal size in a collision that appears to resemble a ghostly face.
The "head" is a result of the gravitational shock wave that pushes material outwards from the two merging galaxies while the bright "eyes" are the centers of the galaxies themselves.
Although galaxy collisions are common - especially in the early universe - most are not head-on impacts like the collision that likely created this Arp-Madore system 704 million light-years from Earth. This image shows the collision of two galaxies of equal size and was taken on 19 June 2019 in visible light by the telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys. The ring formed when each galaxy's disk, which is filled with gas, dust and stars, was pulled and stretched out by the collision.
The face is known as a "ring galaxy" that are rather rare, with flawless a pair of hundred spotted in Earth's "greater cosmic neighbourhood". It added that this violent encounter gives the system an arresting ring structure for a limited time.More news: Iggy Azalea Just Slammed This Hip Hop Mogul on Twitter
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The glaring eyes of the face are bright cores of the colliding galaxies in the system collectively known as Arp-Madore 2026-424 (AM 2026-424), 704 million light-years away from the Earth. But, it was an "analog of what the solar system looked like when it was only 1 or 2 million years old", as per a Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) astronomer.
'The side-by-side juxtaposition of the two central bulges of stars from the galaxies that we see here is also unusual. Right here is various from the more frequent collisions wherein shrimp galaxies are devoured up by their greater neighbours'.
Experts plan to use the Hubble program to get a better understanding of how galaxies interact with each other, with the goal of creating a giant sample.
Meanwhile, in August, the Hubble telescope's successor the James Webb Space Telescope (Webb) was assembled completely for the first time at Northrop Grumman's facilities in Redondo Beach, California.