Galaxy Merger IC 2431 Crop

Imagem do Telescópio Espacial Hubble de IC 2431, que parece ser uma fusão tripla de galáxias em andamento, bem como uma mistura tumultuada de formação de estrelas e distorções de maré causadas pelas interações gravitacionais desse trio galáctico. Crédito: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Keel, Dark Energy Survey, DOE, FNAL, DECam, CTIO, NOIRLab/NSF/AURA, SDSS, Agradecimentos: J. Schmidt

A massa de poeira e redemoinhos brilhantes de estrelas nesta imagem são a distante fusão de galáxias IC 2431, que fica a 681 milhões de anos-luz da Terra na constelação de Câncer. O[{” attribute=””>NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured what appears to be a triple galaxy merger in progress, as well as a tumultuous mixture of star formation and tidal distortions caused by the gravitational interactions of this galactic trio. The center of this image is obscured by a thick cloud of dust — though light from a background galaxy can be seen piercing its outer extremities.  

This image is from a series of Hubble observations investigating weird and wonderful galaxies found by the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project. Using Hubble’s powerful Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), astronomers took a closer look at some of the more unusual galaxies that volunteers had identified.

The original Galaxy Zoo project was the largest galaxy census ever carried out, and relied on crowdsourcing time from more than 100,000 volunteers to classify 900,000 unexamined galaxies. The project achieved what would have been years of work for a professional astronomer in only 175 days, and has led to a steady stream of similar astronomical citizen science projects.

Later Galaxy Zoo projects have included the largest ever studies of galaxy mergers and tidal dwarf galaxies, as well as the discovery of entirely new types of compact star-forming galaxies.

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