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Hubble Space Telescope Captures Two Galaxies Slowly Becoming One

The coalesce of galaxies (mergers) is one of the most significant phenomenon in the cosmos. They determine how the galaxies established and developed. By scrutinizing these mergers, we can discover a lot about how the galaxies formed and what kind of processes are occurring there. The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured the newest image of two galaxies that are almost amalgamate to each other.  Astronomers considered it an abnormal galaxy but now they have realized that these two galaxies are in the last phase of merger. The researchers have evaluated that this galaxy is situated about 230 million light years away.
The photo of NGC 6052 as captured by Hubble's Wide Field Camera. Image Credit: ESA/Hubble/NASA/Judy Schmidt

This photo was taken by Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. These galaxy mergers occur rarely in the universe and according to an estimate only about 3percent of the galaxies merge. When two galaxies come close, they start to whorl around each other and as time passes they start to deform from their original structure and change into a new galaxy. This activity takes a lot of time to happen and thus it does not affect the enormous stars. Some of them might be shifted to some new orbit trajectory but it does not affect their ability to shine.

The appearance of a galaxy depends upon the distribution of stars. And during mergers, it changes swiftly and hence these new forming galaxies lack the regular structure like a spiral and elliptical galaxy. And merger is not just the simple process to remold the galaxies. Spiral galaxies have a large quantity of gases in them, and these merge with an extreme force that can alter the structure of a huge star.  

NGC 6052 has been establishing new stars almost 42 per year for over the last 400 million years. It is estimated that about 12 to 60 percent of the stars in it are formed during merger. 

The NGC 6052 merger will be resumed for about billions of years and the end product would be a totally different galaxy from those two galaxies that we can see merging today.

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