Despite its age and recent problems, Hubble Space Telescope is still able to deliver impressive images which continue to fascinate astronomers and people from all over the world. The space telescope has recently surprised a galactic collision which involved two galaxies.
The two galaxies, which share the name of NGC 6052, can be found in the Hercules constellation which is located at approximately 230 million light-years away from Earth. William Herschel discovered the two galaxies in 1784. At first, it was thought that its just one galaxy since their shape is quite odd but as time passed researchers found that they are two individual galaxies which were colliding.
Hubble Space Telescope captures a galactic collision in stunning images
According to NASA the force of gravity attracted the two galaxies and lead to the state that has been currently achieved. The stars present in both galaxies are now forced to follow different trajectories as the gravitational conditions are significantly altered.
Some may expect collisions between the stars, but it seems that such a phenomenon doesn’t take place very often. Most of the time, stars have plenty of space through which they can pass, and the chance to meet another star which has the exact trajectory is quite slim.
Astronomers believe that the Milky Way will, at some point, meet with the Andromeda galaxy in a galactic collision, triggering a cataclysmic event. There is no need to worry at this point since the phenomenon is thought to take place in the distant future, approximately 4 billion years from now.
Despite its age and issues, Hubble Space Telescope is still up and running
In recent months, Hubble Space Telescope has passed through a series of difficulties. Back in October 2018, NASA engineers placed the telescope in a safe made when a gyroscope didn’t work correctly.
In January this year, a telemetry issue disabled the Wide Field Camera 3 after the maintenance system detected what seemed to strange voltage readings.
The latest issue surfaced towards the end of February when the Advanced Camera for Survey instrument was affected by a glitch. NASA has said that another maintenance mission won’t visit Hubble Space Telescope, but the space agency plans to use the old telescope for a long while.