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Colliding galaxies!

Colliding galaxies!
Click here and here to see full images.

Cool images from Hubble! The two photos to the right, cropped and reduced to post here, shows two different galaxies undergoing a collision with another galaxy. Both images are from of a montage of six galaxy merger images from the Hubble Space Telescope, released yesterday.

To celebrate a new year, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has published a montage of six beautiful galaxy mergers. Each of these merging systems was studied as part of the recent HiPEEC survey to investigate the rate of new star formation within such systems. These interactions are a key aspect of galaxy evolution and are among the most spectacular events in the lifetime of a galaxy.

It is during rare merging events that galaxies undergo dramatic changes in their appearance and in their stellar content. These systems are excellent laboratories to trace the formation of star clusters under extreme physical conditions.

The first galaxy merger to the right is dubbed NGC 6052, and is located in the constellation of Hercules about 230 million light-years away. This pair of colliding galaxies, according to the caption, “were first discovered in 1784 by William Herschel and were originally classified as a single irregular galaxy because of their odd shape. However, we now know that NGC 6052 actually consists of two galaxies that are in the process of colliding.”

The second image shows two galaxies, IC 694 and NGC 3690, about 700 millions after they had completed a close pass of each other. From the caption: “As a result of this interaction, the system underwent a fierce burst of star formation. In the last fifteen years or so six supernovae have popped off in the outer reaches of the galaxy, making this system a distinguished supernova factory.”

You can see all six merger images here, though to my eye these two are the most impressive.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


  • “It is during rare merging events that galaxies undergo dramatic changes in their appearance and in their stellar content. ”

    Well, that’s a *bit* of an understatement. The first image is a galactic train wreck. Although, if you could survive the radiation, some truly spectacular night skies. What legends and stories might be born there?

  • Max

    I think it’s interesting to note after reading their entire site including the mechanics/forces of two galaxies colliding and the aftermath that “dark matter” is not mentioned. Although they do go into considerable mount of evidence for the interaction of gravity. (both galaxies, as they come close, are elongated and stretched out in a consistent and predictable way using only gravity as a model)

    I am enjoying it while I can, the Galaxy model needs dark matter… The uncertainty of what we know and what is possible mixing fantasy/Science fiction with reality so “politics” can have a foothold in everything we are certain of, so that it only becomes a belief. Faith in a belief can be molded into any form they desire for a particular outcome regardless of the truth or facts.
    Can you imagine how much money would be involved in grants from the government to find what doesn’t exist? Like “hot fusion” temperatures exceeding millions of degrees inside containers that melt at 10,000° with super cold magnets inches away… Like what is going to occur to us shortly with the “green new deal” claming carbon dioxide, the source of all life on planet earth, is pollution? That everyone must be vaccinated to sterilize the population? That all farms must be heavily regulated eliminating meat because food is bad for you? That all homes, businesses, high-rise buildings must be torn down and rebuilt to save energy?

    I’m going to enjoy this moment before the nonsense of the dark age begins…

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