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Hubble discovered the “Big Pumpkin” galaxy pair



Hubble discovers the

This is a snapshot of the early stages of the collision between two galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope, similar to a pumpkin carved on Halloween. The glowing “eyes” of “pumpkins” are bright stellar cores filled with supermassive black holes in every galaxy. A group of newly formed stars made the imaginary pumpkin smirk. The two galaxies classified as NGC 2292 and NGC 2293 are located about 120 million light years away in the constellation Canis Major. Image source: NASA, ESA and W. Keel (University of Alabama)

Sorry, Charlie Brown of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope is taking a peek at what can best be described as a “big pumpkin”. It looks like a Halloween decoration, hidden in a starry sky. It looks like two glowing eyes and a curved sculpted smile, a snapshot of the initial collision between the two galaxies. The entire field of view is nearly 109,000 light years, about the diameter of our Milky Way galaxy.


The overall pumpkin-colored color corresponds to the glow of aging red stars in the two galaxies, which are classified as NGC 2292 and NGC 2293, and they only have a spiral structure. However, because the newly formed clusters of stars spread along a newly formed dusty arm like pearls on a necklace, the smile is slightly red. The glowing eyes are a collection of stars surrounding a pair of supermassive black holes. The scattering of the blue foreground stars makes the “pumpkin” look like all the glitter from a Halloween party.

What’s the matter with this pair of things like pumpkins?

If you mix two fried eggs together, you will get something similar to scrambled eggs. The same is true for galaxy collisions throughout the universe. They lost the flat spiral disk, and the stars competed for rugby-like space, forming an elliptical galaxy. However, this pair of interactions is a very rare example, and it may lead to a larger omelette-the construction of a huge spiral galaxy. It may depend on the specific trajectory followed by the colliding galaxy. Astronomers say that encounters must be rare, because there are only a few other examples in the universe.

Researchers say that creating a “smile” ghost arm may just be the beginning of the process of reconstructing the spiral galaxy. The arm contains two galaxies. It was most likely formed when the interstellar gas was compressed when the two galaxies began to merge. Higher density will promote the formation of new stars.

The dynamic duo is hidden 120 million light-years in the constellation Canis Major, so it can be seen behind the foreground of the Milky Way’s stars. Therefore, it is difficult to find distant background galaxies among the many stars seen in the wild.

This pair of galaxies is similar to the objects marked by the citizen science project Galaxy Zoo, where volunteers look for galaxies that look like strange balls. Astronomer William Keel of the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa has included several of these items in the Hubble Project “Gem of the Galaxy Zoo”, which is in between and other scheduled Hubble observations Observe several rare galaxies within a short interval of. The Hubble telescope image brings new details of close encounters.

Keel speculates that the ultimate fate of the pair of telescopes will be to merge into a huge luminous spiral galaxy, such as UGC 2885, the Rubin Galaxy, whose diameter is more than twice the diameter of our Milky Way. Hubble captured a snapshot of the groundbreaking early stages of the galaxy’s transformation.


Picture: Hubble is hooked on the one-armed galaxy


Provided by European Space Agency/Hubble Information Center

Citation: Hubble discovered the “Big Pumpkin” galaxy pair retrieved from https://phys.org/news/2020-10-hubble-greater-pumpkin-galaxy-pair.html on October 29, 2020 (2020, October 29th)

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