publish date 2022-02-01 09:49:06
The NASA and European Space Agency’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a group of three unique galaxies, known collectively as NGC 7764A.
The three galaxies are referred to individually as NGC 7764A1, NGC 7764A2, and NGC 7764A3.
Hubble, using both the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3, was able to observe the three galaxies about 425 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Phoenix.
The two galaxies in the upper right of the image appear to be interacting with each other. The long trails of stars and gas extending from them give the impression that both have just been hit at great speed, thrown into disarray by the bowling-ball-shaped galaxy in the lower left of the image.
In fact, interactions between galaxies occur over very long timescales, and galaxies rarely collide with each other. It is also unclear whether the galaxy at the bottom left interacts with the other two galaxies, although they are relatively close to space so they appear to be.
By a happy coincidence, the collective interaction of these galaxies has caused the two to form in the upper right of the figure, which, from the perspective of our solar system, resembles the spacecraft USS Enterprise from the science fiction series Star Trek.
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