(ORDO NEWS) — This Hubble Space Telescope image shows two galaxies in the Arp 248 triplet, also known as the Wilde triplet, about 200 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo.
In the image, two large spiral galaxies framing a smaller, unrelated background galaxy appear to be connected by a glowing bridge.
This elongated stream of stars and interstellar dust is known as a tidal tail. It is formed by the mutual gravitational attraction of these two galaxies.
This observation comes from a project that examines two collections of strange and wonderful galaxies: the Catalog of Southern Peculiar Galaxies and Associations, compiled by astronomers Halton Arp and Barry Mador, and the Atlas of Unusual Galaxies, compiled by Halton Arp.
Each collection contains a “menagerie” of amazing galaxies, including interacting galaxies like Arp 248, shell galaxies, and a host of other cosmic oddities.
Hubble’s Advanced Observation Camera explored these amazing galaxies in search of promising candidates for future observations by the James Webb, the Atakama Large Millimeter-Wave Array, and Hubble itself.
Given the wealth of astronomical objects to study in the night sky, projects like these that shape future observations are a valuable investment of observing time.
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