NASA has shared an image that has been recently clicked by the Hubble telescope which depicts a ghostly face staring back at us from the depths of space. In the scary-looking image, the US space agency explains that two galaxies are going for a head-on collision against each other. The complete system is known as Arp-Madore 2026-424 (AM 2026-424) and it is placed 704 million light-years away from Earth.
The violent collision gives the system a ring structure which is expected to last for about 100 million years while the two galaxies will completely merge in about one to two billion years. Whenever galaxies come close to each other, one galaxy might get destroyed by the other, however, there can be cases when galaxies may get merged peacefully to form a bigger galaxy.
Such events of ring galaxies are quite rare and just a few hundred have happened around our galactic neighborhood. At present, space researchers are not completely sure if collision of galaxies will lead to a bigger galaxy or violent destruction, however, they believe it is all depended on the huge black holes that are located at the centre of the galaxies.
In order to have ring galaxies, the two galaxies need to merge in a particular way to form a ring. Collision of galaxies are quite common in space however not all ring galaxies turn out to be like this ghost-like ring. In this particular case, the two galaxies were close to each other and created a rare ring structure that gives an impression of two eyes within the skull.
The AM 2026-424 system got logged in the astronomical catalog called the Catalogue of Southern Peculiar Galaxies and Associations. This catalogue was first compiled by astronomer Halton Arp back in 1966, who later partnered with another astronomer called Barry Madore to extend the catalog in 1987.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines