Hubble telescope delivers wonderful views of six completely different galaxies colliding

James Marshall
January 11, 2021

In this handout from NASA, the Hubble Space Telescope is grappled to Space Shuttle Atlantis STS-125 by the shuttle's Canadian-built remote manipulator system on May 13, 2009, in Space.

A montage of six stunning galaxy mergers has been released by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to celebrate the New Year.

The Hubble Space Telescope published a series of 59 photographs of merging galaxies to mark its 18th anniversary in 2008, which can be explored here. "These systems are excellent laboratories to trace the formation of star clusters under extreme physical conditions", the agency said in a statement on Thursday. Star clusters are just like them: groups of stars.

How Did It Look Like?

NASA and the European Space Agency The Hubble Space Telescope has provided us with six rare views of galaxy connectionsAnd they are all a victor.

The galaxies all display signs of their wild pasts. ESA identifies galaxy NGC 3256 as unusual and warped.

The Hubble Intense Environments and Clusters Imaging Probe (HiPEEC) survey produced photos focusing on star clusters within the galaxies and what happens as their host systems merge.

Located some 230 million light years away, NGC 6052 is a pair of colliding galaxies, says NASA. Collisions promote the formation of new stars, which increases the stellar birth rate.

"The Milky Way galaxy usually forms star clusters with masses equal to 10,000 times the mass of our sun", the European Space Agency said.

HiPEEC researchers have found that large clusters of stars remain very bright in galaxies that have disappeared after the collision. The links can be dramatic to the galaxies in question, and visitors to Earth can safely see the remarkable effects thanks to Hubble's piercing eyes.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of global collaboration between ESA and NASA.

A barred spiral galaxy is a spiral galaxy with a central bar-shaped structure composed of stars.

The HiPEEC study shows that star cluster populations, with the most massive clusters forming towards the end of the merger process, are subject to broad and rapid variations in their properties. Notably, Hubble turned 30-years old last year and on its anniversary, NASA released previously unseen images of attractive celestial objects.

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