Hubble Captures Swirling Galactic Trio

Hubble telescope in space.

The mass of dust and bright swirls of stars in this image is the distant galaxy merger IC 2431, which lies 681 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer. (Image: via NASA)

The mass of dust and bright swirls of stars in this image is the distant galaxy merger IC 2431, which lies 681 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured what appears to be a triple galaxy merger in progress, as well as a tumultuous mixture of star formation and tidal distortions caused by the gravitational interactions of this galactic trio. A thick cloud of dust obscures the center of this image — although light from a background galaxy is piercing its outer extremities.

The mass of dust and bright swirls of stars in this Hubble image are the distant galaxy merger IC 2431, which lies 681 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer.
The mass of dust and bright swirls of stars in this Hubble image is the distant galaxy merger IC 2431, which lies 681 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cancer. (Image: W. Keel via ESA / Hubble & NASA, Dark Energy Survey, Department of Energy, Fermilab, Dark Energy Survey Camera, (DECam), Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, NoirLab / National Science Foundation / AURA, Sloan Digital Sky Survey; Acknowledgment: J. Schmidt)

Hubble image from Galaxy Zoo citizen science project

This image is from a series of Hubble observations investigating weird and wonderful galaxies found by the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project. Using Hubble’s powerful Advanced Camera for Surveys, astronomers took a closer look at some of the more unusual galaxies that volunteers identified. The original Galaxy Zoo project was the largest galaxy census ever carried out and relied on crowdsourcing time from more than 100,000 volunteers to classify 900,000 unexamined galaxies.

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

Receive selected content straight into your inbox.

The project achieved what would have been years of work for a professional astronomer in only 175 days and has led to a steady stream of similar astronomical citizen science projects. Later Galaxy Zoo projects have included the largest ever studies of galaxy mergers and tidal dwarf galaxies, as well as the discovery of entirely new types of compact star-forming galaxies.

Provided by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center [Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.]

Follow us on TwitterFacebook, or Pinterest

Recommended Stories

Rare snowfall in Joshua Tree National Park

Rare Snow Covers Joshua Tree National Park

The dry landscape of Joshua Tree National Park was covered in layers of white due ...

Computer programmers.

Front-end Development in 4 Steps

Changing careers might be daunting. However, pursuing more than one job route throughout your lifetime ...

Mother helping her young daughter with a school lesson.

A Simple Guide for Homeschooling: Parents and Students

While most children attend public or private schools, an increasing percentage are homeschooled. Learn more ...

Tian Han (R) and

Tian Han, the Persecuted Writer of China’s National Anthem

China’s now-beloved national anthem March of the Volunteers was written in 1931 by lyricist Tian ...

A Chinese paddlefish.

One of the World’s Oldest and Largest Fish Is Now Extinct

Chinese paddlefish, which reached up to 23 feet in length, have become extinct according to ...

Trees growing in a shallow lake.

A Very Rare Turtle Just Died, Pushing the Species Close to Extinction

On April 12, a female Yangtze giant softshell turtle died in the Suzhou Shangfangshan Forest ...

A slider turtle.

Chinese Flight Crew Arrested for Smuggling Endangered Turtles

On June 21, two China Eastern Airlines crew members were arrested at Los Angeles International ...

A Uyghur father and son sharing with a friend.

Chinese Government Now Forcing Uyghurs to Use Sinicized Furniture

In what seems like a bizarre demand, the Chinese regime is now asking the Uyghur ...

Three Uyghur children.

Over Half a Million Uyghur Children Separated From Their Parents

Beijing’s persecution of Uyghurs is not only affecting adults but also Uyghur children, according to ...

Send this to a friend