“Magic” ring. The Hubble telescope made an image of an unusual cosmic structure (photo)
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The amazing ring of stars is the result of a direct collision between two galaxies.
A very strong gravitational interaction between two galaxies in the constellation Eridanus has caused the stars of these galaxies to spin into a huge, very bright ring. Such an amazing phenomenon became possible after a direct collision and subsequent merger of galaxies, writes Live Science.
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The Hubble Space Telescope took a truly amazing picture of the merger of two galaxies, which turned into one huge bright ring of stars. These now interconnected galaxies have the common name Arp-Madore 417-391 and are located at a distance of 670 million light-years from us.
The new image published by the European Space Agency (ESA) was taken by the Hubble telescope using its ACS camera, which is designed to observe very distant galaxies, especially those that appeared in the early history of our universe.
According to scientists from the ESA, the strongest gravity distorted these two galaxies and this led to the fact that the stars of these galaxies twisted into a giant ring, and the nuclei of the galaxies were at a relatively close distance from each other. And this can be seen at the bottom of the unusual ring.
Three years ago, the Hubble Space Telescope already took a picture of a similar collision of galaxies called Arp-Madore 2026-424. As a result of this merger, a slightly irregular ring appeared, which resembles the face of a ghost.
According to astronomers, such rings can be seen very rarely during galaxy mergers, because they appear only during a head-on collision of two galaxies. Whereas most of these mergers are slow, and the force of gravity pulls on the galaxies over time.
Such ring structures are not eternal. According to scientists, these rings exist for about 100 million years, after which the structure breaks up, the stars return back to their galaxies, and eventually, after 1-2 billion years, one huge new galaxy appears in space.
To date, astronomers have already been able to see about 100 ring structures that arose after the collision of two galaxies. But Arp-Madore 417-391 has a key feature – only a small number of galaxy mergers lead to the appearance of such a near-perfect ring.
While scientists still do not fully understand the formation of such ring structures, in this Hubble image, they believe that the ring has acquired an ideal shape due to the almost identical size of the two galaxies. Astronomers made this conclusion based on the brightness and size of the two galactic centers.
Scientists hope to get more information about this amazing ring using the Webb Space Telescope.
As Focus already wrote, astronomers solved the 40-year-old mystery of the black hole using the NASA space telescope.
As for the Hubble telescope images, Focus already wrote that he made an image of a cloud of gas and dust in which the formation of a new star began.