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  4. Hubble Space Telescope captures the overlapping Spiral Galaxies | Details

Hubble Space Telescope captures the overlapping Spiral Galaxies | Details

Despite the visual impression that the three galaxies on the right cluster are closely together, a closer look reveals a deceptive perspective. The LEDA galaxies, though appearing atop NGC 1356, are millions of light-years apart, their apparent proximity attributed to the observer's vantage point.

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: January 07, 2024 11:51 IST
Hubble Space Telescope, Spiral Galaxies
Image Source : NASA Hubble Space Telescope captures the overlapping Spiral Galaxies | Details

The Hubble Space Telescope witnessed a complex Galactic Swirl as it captivated the images showcasing a dynamic interplay of four overlapping spiral galaxies, creating a mesmerising celestial display.

Galactic Ensemble: About

The image's focal point is NGC 1356, and as per the photograph, the largest galaxy on the right was identified as an elegant barred spiral galaxy that looks quite similar to our Milky Way. Notably named the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, NGC 1356 features a prominent bar structure rich with stars. Adjacent to NGC 1356 (focal point) are two smaller spiral galaxies, LEDA 95415 and LEDA 467699, while IC 1947 graces the left side of the cosmic canvas.

About the Optical Illusion

Despite the visual impression that the three galaxies on the right cluster are closely together, a closer look reveals a deceptive perspective. The LEDA galaxies, though appearing atop NGC 1356, are millions of light-years apart, their apparent proximity attributed to the observer's vantage point from Earth. Furthermore, IC 1947, seemingly isolated on the left, is surprisingly much closer to NGC 1356, with a mere 400,000 light-years separating them.

Relative Neighbours in the Cosmos

IC 1947 and NGC 1356 emerge as cosmic neighbours in this cosmic patch, highlighting the intricacies of spatial relationships in the vast universe. The Hubble image has underscored the challenge of interpreting celestial distances accurately, as the galaxies vary the depths which can appear interconnected when observed from Earth.

A recurring theme in cosmic imagery

This captivating snapshot further echoes the previous Hubble images which depict galaxies while visually overlapping, which are positioned at distinct distances from Earth. Differentiating between images of overlapping galaxies and those amid gravitational interactions poses a challenge, with gravitational forces often revealing tell-tale signs of celestial interactions.

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