September 30, 2023

Hubble Space Telescope Spots Overlapping Spiral Galaxies

Hubble Space Telescope picture of 2 overlapping spiral galaxies, SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461. Credit: ESA/Hubble & & NASA, W. Keel
2 overlapping spiral nebula are pictured in this remarkable image from the Hubble Space Telescope. The two galaxies, which lie more than a billion light-years from Earth, have the uninspiring names SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461. Although they appear to clash in this image, the alignment of the two galaxies is likely simply by opportunity– the two are not in fact communicating. Although these 2 galaxies may simply be ships that pass in the night, Hubble has actually recorded a stunning range of interacting galaxies in the past.
This image is among many NASA/ESA Hubble observations delving into highlights of the Galaxy Zoo project. Initially established in 2007, the Galaxy Zoo job and its successors are huge citizen science projects which crowdsource galaxy classifications from a swimming pool of hundreds of thousands of volunteers. These volunteers classify galaxies imaged by robotic telescopes and are often the very first to ever set eyes on an astronomical item.
Throughout the initial Galaxy Zoo project, volunteers found a menagerie of fantastic and strange galaxies consisting of uncommon 3-armed spiral galaxies and colliding ring galaxies. The astronomers coordinating the task used for Hubble time to observe the most uncommon inhabitants of the Galaxy Zoo– however true to the jobs crowdsourced roots, the list of targets was figured out by a public vote.

By ESA/Hubble
September 4, 2022