Hubble Space Telescope shares stunning image of 3 galaxies that appear to interact with each other

Deepak Gupta February 19, 2022
Updated 2022/02/19 at 2:52 PM

NASA’s Hubble Telescope is known for capturing spectacular glimpses of space objects as it is strategically positioned and has an unrestricted view of the universe. It recently released an image of a group of three galaxies, collectively known as NGC 7764A. Placed in the constellation Phoenix, these galaxies are about 425 million light-years from Earth. The image shows the galaxies interacting with each other, making the two galaxies in the upper right look like a starship known as the USS Enterprise from Star Trek, an American science fiction media franchise.

The long tails of stars and gas, which extend from the galaxies in the upper right, appear to have been hit at great speed by the one in the lower left and thrown into disarray. But this is not to be. Galaxies interact for long periods of time and rarely collide. NASA said it is unclear whether the galaxy in the lower left is interacting with the other two. Because they are so close they seem to be interacting.

The three galaxies shown in this image are referred to as NGC 7764A1, NGC 7764A2 and NGC 7764A3 individually. NASA declared in a blog post that the “rather casual” nomenclature was likely because many astronomical catalogs were compiled over 100 years ago. And so many astronomical objects have names that sound familiar to the names of other objects and are likely to cause confusion. The use of modern technology has only recently made standardizing scientific terminology much easier.

The Hubble Space Telescope, a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), has been in service for more than three decades since its launch in 1990. It has captured billions of stunning images and shared many of them over time. It recently shared an image of a galaxy in the constellation Vela, located about 115 million light-years from Earth. The ESA said Vela was originally part of a larger constellation, called Argo Navis, named after the legendary ship Argo from Greek mythology.

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