Our universe has been beautifully captured in yet another image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. This time, a trio of galaxies on their way to a collision and merger has been photographed. The three galaxies together referred to as SDSSCGB 10189, can be seen in the image, which is magnificent, so close together that they almost seem to be merging. The galaxies’ forms are already distorted, and links between them can be detected in the form of strands of dust and gas.
The fact that all three of the galaxies involved are currently in the process of giving birth to new stars makes this collision special despite the fact that galactic collisions are rather regular. An unrelated spiral galaxy to the left of the collision sits calmly while it occurs, much like a cosmic version of a bystander “rubbernecking” an earthlier collision occurring on a freeway here on Earth.
Eventually, the three galaxies that can be seen in the constellation Boötes will combine to form one massive galaxy. Gravitational interactions amongst the trio will cause the spiral structure the galaxies now display to be destroyed during the process. The three massive star-forming galaxies in SDSSCGB 10189 are only 50,000 light-years away from one another. In cosmic terms, this distance—while appearing to be large and not particularly dangerous for a collision—is actually quite close. For instance, Andromeda is more than 2.5 million light-years from the sun, making it the nearest galaxy to our own Milky Way.
Astronomers are looking into the beginnings of galaxies that are the largest and most massive in the universe, dubbed as Brightest Cluster Galaxies(BCGs), in the new Hubble Space Telescope image. Smaller galaxies are sucked in by larger galaxies, or gas-rich galaxies such as this trio collide and merge, to become BCGs. Galactic clusters, enormous cosmic structures composed of hundreds of galaxies, can be utilized to trace the creation of such cluster galaxies.
BCGs, the tangled structure of material clumps and filaments created by dark matter that link individual galaxies within a cluster, may give hints to the development of the so-called “cosmic web,” according to scientists. The formation of BCGs and the precise moment in the universe’s 13.8 billion-year history are still up for debate. Some scientists believe that these huge brilliant galaxies formed in the early universe when it was only about 19% as old as it is now. Some believe that BCGs are still developing and being created now.
It may be possible for a BCG to be created as a result of the merging of SDSSCGB 10189, which may ultimately provide answers to the question of how and when these huge luminous galaxies are created. As a result, this new Hubble image makes a significant contribution to our knowledge of the universe and its evolution. The field of astronomy is experiencing a period of rapid advancement, making it an exciting moment to be a researcher. We can now see farther and more clearly than ever before thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, which has opened up a whole new universe of opportunities for our study of the cosmos.