NASA Hubble telescope captures triple galaxy collisiontext_fields
Washington: NASA's Hubble Space Telescope spotted a rare event of three galaxies that are headed to collide with each other. Collisions of galaxies are common in space but these three are in the middle of producing more new stars.
The extremely rare space event is happening in the Bootes constellation and the trio will combine to form a single large galaxy. They are collectively called SDSSCGB 101189. The gravitational interaction between them will destroy the spiral structure they currently have.
The Hubble image provides a close look at the upcoming collision and they look like they are in the process of merging. They are 50,000 lightyears away from one another. The shapes of individual galaxies have already been altered. Strands of gas and dust are seen connecting them. They are also emitting a significant amount of light.
The Hubble Telescope came upon the event while investigating the origins of the largest galaxies in the universe. Cluster galaxies formed by such collisions are valuable to astronomers because they serve as indicators of the development of galactic clusters - massive arrangements comprising hundreds or thousands of galaxies.
Scientists are also hoping for hints about the evolution of the cosmic web, which is a tangled structure of clumps and filaments of material formed by dark matter that connect individual galaxies in a cluster.
Interestingly, a fourth galaxy is also floating around the event without being influenced by the collision. The image also shows a number of galaxies in the background.