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Hubble captures unusual merger of galaxies

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A whole gallery of unusual and magnificent types of galaxies hitherto unknown to science was uncovered.

The Hubble Telescope captured two merging galaxies in the VV689 system called Angelwing.

It is noted that unlike the random alignment of galaxies, these celestial bodies are in the process of colliding. 

Their interaction made the VV689 system almost completely symmetrical, giving the impression of a large set of galactic wings.

This angelic video was taken from Hubble observations of the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project’s highlights. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers helped astronomers go through a torrent of data from robotic telescopes as part of this crowdsourced astronomy initiative.

Volunteers uncovered a rogues’ gallery of strange and beautiful galaxy types in the process, some of which had never been explored before.

Radio Galaxy Zoo, a similar ongoing effort, uses the same crowdsourcing approach to detect supermassive black holes in faraway galaxies.

Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys was used to conduct comprehensive follow-up observations on notable objects from both projects.

The objectives for follow-up observations with Hubble were picked by the public via around 18,000 votes, in keeping with the Galaxy Zoo project’s crowdsourced nature.

Ring-shaped galaxies, peculiar spirals, and a remarkable collection of galaxy mergers, such as VV689, are among the chosen targets.

Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Keel, Acknowledgement: J. Schmidt

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