NASA and European Space Agency’s (ESA) Hubble Space Telescope has just captured images of two luminescent galaxies catalogued as UGC 2369. The telescope was able to capture mutual gravitational attraction between both the galaxies.
Interaction between galaxies is not an uncommon event, however, two similarly sized ones merging is one of a kind. The images released by NASA show both the galaxies distorting as they pulled closer. In the images, a thin bridge of gas, dust and stars can also be seen. It is being said that the ridge was developed when the gap between both of the galaxies started diminishing.
In the images, we can see the Northern Galaxy UGC 2369 (UGC 2369N) interacting with the Southern Galaxy UGC 2369 (UGC 2369S).
“The galaxies are interacting, meaning that their mutual gravitational attraction is pulling them closer and closer together and distorting their shapes in the process,” NASA said in a statement.
This is not the first time two galaxies have had an interaction stated NASA. It also added, larger galaxies like the Milky Way also interact with other galaxies, but these interactions involve significantly smaller dwarf galaxies. Saying all of that, the space agency concluded by saying that such a momentous and notable event at such a scale takes place every few billion years.
It is being predicted that the next event like this will occur in about four billion years. Where Milky Way will collide with the Andromeda galaxy, which has already been nicknamed Milkomeda.