This week’s picture from the Hubble Area Telescope exhibits a number of galaxies overlapping in a fancy swirl. 4 major galaxies are proven within the picture, three of which appear like they’re virtually on high of one another, however all is just not because it seems on this case.
The most important galaxy within the picture, positioned on the suitable, is NGC 1356, a chic barred spiral galaxy just like our Milky Approach. It’s also referred to as the Nice Barred Spiral Galaxy as a result of distinguished nature of its bar, which is a brilliant construction on the middle of the galaxy which is wealthy with stars. Close to this galaxy seem two smaller spiral galaxies, LEDA 467699 and LEDA 95415, and off on the left facet of the picture is IC 1947.
The tough a part of this picture is that whereas it seems that the three galaxies on the suitable are clustered shut collectively, and the one on the left is additional away, that isn’t truly the case. The 2 LEDA galaxies seem on high of NGC 1356, however they’re thousands and thousands of light-years aside and solely seem so shut due to the angle at which we’re viewing them. They seem in the identical patch of sky when noticed from Earth, however their distances from us are vastly assorted.
However, the lonely-looking IC 1947 is definitely a lot nearer to the big galaxy NGC 1356 on the suitable. There are lower than 400,000 light-years between them, making them relative neighbors on this patch of the universe.
Hubble has taken related earlier pictures, which present galaxies that seem like on high of one another however are, in truth, overlapping however positioned at totally different distances from Earth. It’s not at all times simple to differentiate between these pictures and people the place galaxies are literally interacting with one another, although one tell-tale signal of interacting galaxies is when the forces of gravity distort one or each galaxies as they get shut collectively.