ESA/ESO/NASA/Hubble – Using the best space telescopes on Earth and in Space, scientists have been able to capture a rare photo of galaxies colliding and creating more stars from the massive collision. Space scientists used the Hubble and Spitzer telescopes located in space, the ALMA space telescope located in Chile, the Very Large Array telescope in New Mexico, and the Keck Observatory facility in Hawaii to observe the collision of these distant galaxies and to produce the resulting photo image.
Space scientists are so glad and elated that they were able to capture the rare galactic-collision image, and they are even more excited at the possibility of seeing a ring-shaped collision behind the band of collision in what looks so similar to be the Milky Way.
According to Hugo Messias, a lead author for the study, “these chance alignments are quite rare and tend to be hard to identify. But recent studies have shown that by observing at far-infrared and millimeter wavelengths we can find these cases much more efficiently.”
The space researchers have been lucky to capture this rare image because the galaxies have actually been aligned the right way, and the positions have given them a vantage point to watch distant galaxies through the one closer to Earth.
“While astronomers are often limited by the power of their telescopes, in some cases our ability to see detail is hugely boosted by natural lenses, created by the Universe,” explains lead author Hugo Messias of the Universidad de Concepción (Chile) and the Centro de Astronomia e Astrofísica da Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal). “Einstein predicted in his theory of general relativity that, given enough mass, light does not travel in a straight line but will be bent in a similar way to light refracted by a normal lens.”
The captured has been called H-ATLAS J142935.3-002836 and the researchers had used a gravitational lensing method to achieve the photographic feat. This space image and the feat behind it would give scientists the ability to watch what is going on in other galaxies and to accurately predict or watch how galaxies interact with one another or even produce stars from the process.
These new studies of the galaxy H-ATLAS J142935.3-002836 have shown that this complex and distant object looks surprisingly like the well-known local galaxy collision, the Antennae Galaxies. Credits: ESA.