NASA’s Hubble captures a dream image of the intergalactic bridge

Between black holes gobbling up tiny stars and empty space encompassing busy nebulae, our universe’s caverns of darkness are often relieved by flashes of light, a poetic juxtaposition clearly evident in one of the latest Hubble Space Telescope images of The NASA.

Last week, the agency released an ethereal view of the galactic triplet Arp 248, also known as Wild’s Triplet by both the discoverer and the utterly outlandish nature of the show itself. Behold.

Take a closer look at everything in this beautiful image of our electrifying universe.

ESA/Hubble and NASA, Dark Energy Survey/Department of Energy/Fermilab Cosmic Physics Center/Dark Energy Chamber/Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory/NOIRLab/National Science Foundation/AURA Astronomy; J. Dalcanton

In this flawless photo, two of the three galaxies can be seen in the foreground of the vacuum of space, bleeding into each other as if they were made of superhydrated watercolor paint and forming what I can only describe as an intergalactic bridge. A third unconnected realm lies in the background, shrouded in deceptively tiny glimmers that represent a cosmic lifetime of even plus galaxies scattered throughout the universe.

What is especially puzzling about this image is that from Hubble’s point of view, in Earth orbit, some 200 million light-years away, the three galaxies are compact enough to fit on our screens. computers.

In reality, these worlds are many (many) light-years across and are home to an incomprehensible number of doppelgangers of our sun, exoplanets like the eight in our solar system, and moons similar to our glowing lunar companion.

They are miniature universes unto themselves, existing on a scale simply unfathomable to the human mind but available for us to download as desktop backgrounds.

It is, in fact, due to such heavy contents that the two massive spirals in the centerpiece of this image are linked by a luminous bridge in the first place. Both harness immensely strong gravitational forces and therefore pull against each other as if playing a gentle tug of war, accidentally creating what is known as a tidal tail, or a elongated stream of stars and iridescent interstellar dust.

Tidal tails are generally the product of galaxies walking very close to each other on a path toward merging into one large galaxy. We’ve seen this impressive phenomenon several times already: tidal tails are also responsible for some adorable galaxy system names.

The ratsor NGC 4676, features merging galaxies about 300 million light-years away from Earth, and “the tadpoleor UGC 10214, contains a large galaxy in the process of crushing a smaller galaxy, another type of event that resulted in an impressive tidal tail.

A Hubble Space Telescope image of NGC 4676, also known as “The Mice.”

NASA, H. Ford (JHU), G. Illingworth (UCSC/LO), M.Clampin (STScI), G. Hartig (STScI), the ACS Science Team and ESA

Even our galaxy, the Milky Way, is currently in a collision course with Andromedawhich means they can eventually generate a kind of intergalactic bridge too, but don’t worry.

The void between stars and planets within galaxies is much bigger than you think.

When galaxies merge, it is very likely that only a few current collisions occur. Think of two large crowds entering a stadium and merging into one massive crowd. Most of the time, people weren’t literally bumping into each other. They are simply installed close to each other. Now imagine the same situation, except that there is about a light year of space between each person.

Interestingly, the title “Arp” in Arp 248 comes from the late astronomer’s surname. halton harpwho, along with astronomer Barry Madore, created the atlas of peculiar galaxies in 1966.

“Each collection contains a collection of spectacularly peculiar galaxies, including interacting galaxies such as Arp 248, as well as one- and three-armed spiral galaxies, galaxies with shell-like structures, and a variety of other space oddities,” NASA said of the atlas.

It’s a vast body of work filled with yet more examples of our wonderfully contrasted universe, an expanse constructed from the mind of a poet and condensed with the skill of a machine.

One Comment on “NASA’s Hubble captures a dream image of the intergalactic bridge”

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