Sunday, 13 February 2011

Colliding Galaxies form 'heart' in space

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has found a pair of colliding galaxies over 430 million light years from Earth in the shape of a giant pink heart.

Mysterious black holes

The new discovery, code named Arp 147, is the result of two galaxies colliding in deep space. The result of this cataclysmic event is an expanding wave of new stars, exploding supernovas and mysterious black holes with mass that could be twenty times that of our Sun. Studies with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope and ultraviolet observations with NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) have enabled scientists to estimate that the most intense formation of new stars in these galaxies may have ended 15 million years ago. 

Amazing pictures of colliding galaxies

A composite image of Arp 147 has been prepared by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore.  Stunning images of colliding galaxies have been created by combining X-rays from the NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, which show as pink, with red, green and blue optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope. 
Giant ring of black holes in space

Sources:  NASA February 9, 2011 and October 1st, 2010 issue of The Astrophysical Journal, Authors Saul Rappaport and Alan Levine from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, David Pooley from Eureka Scientific and Benjamin Steinhorn, also from MIT.

Photo Credits: X-ray: NASA/CXC/MIT/S Rappaport et al


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