An incredible close-up of galaxies photographed by Hubble

Five galaxies seemingly spinning around each other: this is the Hickson Compact Group 40 captured by Hubble. In a billion years they will collide and become one giant elliptical galaxy.

It’s another year spent searching the skies for him Hubble Space Telescope, who turns 32. To mark the occasion, NASA unveiled a photo of the ” Hickson compact group 40 also called HCG40, a strange grouping of five galaxies. Below them a galaxy was calling elliptical and a lenticular galaxy. The other three are in the form of spirals, like that Milky Way.

Located towards the constellation Hydra, the group is so compact that it would fit into an area of ​​space less than twice the diameter of the stellar disk of our Milky Way. The cause ? That black matter : It surrounds the five galaxies in a kind of halo. As a result, they inexorably approach molts by their mutual attraction, but also by that of the black matter, invisible. Hubble observed them at a pivotal moment in their lives as they prepared merge together. Except the time scales aren’t the same as ours, since the merger won’t happen for a billion years!

Now it’s James Webb’s turn

Deployed in orbit around the earth in 1990 from astronauts from NASA, Hubble has made more than 1.5 million observations of about 50,000 celestial objects! Enough to make great discoveries like those ofaccelerated expansion of the universe, or determining its size and age. Today, James Webb prepares for acquisition as it continues to calibrate and prepare all of its gauges. Just like its predecessor, it will study the deep universe, with all its aims to study the very first moments and the formation of galaxies. These could also be in the same state as the galaxies of HGC40, i.e. gathered in compact and dense clusters.

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