Hubble Captures Galactic Collision of Three Galaxies

Jay Kakade
Galaxy IC 2431
Swirling Galactic Trio IC 2431. (Image Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble)
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning high resolution merging image of three galaxies.

This intergalactic merger collision is called IC 2431 or Triple Galaxy Merger. This galaxies have interacted with each other and collided with their competitive gravitational force. Such type of interactions are not rare in this universe. Our Milky Way is also a violent collision with other galaxies.

Though the merger seems to be violent, But it is more about creation than destruction. When this galaxies collides, the gases and materials too merges. This forms vast clouds of gases which eventually forms favourable conditions for formation of stars at center.

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According to a report by Live Science, Stars that are already formed are likely to survive these interaction. But the gravitational pull by three galaxies will result into disturbances in orbital paths of stars. But the space between this stars have chances of collision.

Project Galaxy Zoo

NASA have reported, IC 2431 is about 681 million light years away from us. Astronomers detected it after conducting a science project Galaxy Zoo. Galaxy Zoo project volunteered more than a lakh volunteers.
This volunteers were given 900,000 un-analysed images captured by NASA's Hubble Telescope. This project took 175 days for completion. IC 2431 is a invention by this crowd work.

Why to Study IC 2431

Studying and analysis of such galaxies helps astronomers to better understand our galaxy. It helps to determine formation, past and future with accurate data.
Our galaxy Milky way is suspected to swallow more than 12 galaxies in period of last 12 billion years.

And Milky Way is about to collide with Andromeda Galaxy in upcoming 4.5 billion years. According to NASA, This collision will have no harm on Milky Way while the sky appearance will be changed completely.

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