Hubble shows the illusion of a collision of galaxies

The presented image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The photo shows two spiral galaxies known under the designation SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461. They are located at a distance of over a billion light-years from Earth.

The galaxies SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461. Source: ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Keel

It may seem that SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461 are in the process of colliding with each other. But this is nothing more than a trick of the eye. In reality, both galaxies are separated by a considerable distance. But since they are on the same line of sight in relation to the Earth, their images overlap each other, creating the illusion of a collision.

The image of two “overlapping” galaxies was taken as part of the Galaxy Zoo civil science project. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers from many countries participate in it. They view images from robotic telescopes and help astronomers classify galaxies.

During the existence of Galaxy Zoo, astro enthusiasts have discovered a number of very strange and bizarre types of galaxies, some of which were not previously known. During the subsequent voting, the most unusual of them were selected for a more detailed study using the Hubble telescope.

It is worth noting that although in reality SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461 do not interact with each other, Hubble has repeatedly photographed colliding galaxies. For example, it photographed the consequences of a triple collision, the “angel galaxy” formed during the merger, as well as the passage of one galaxy through another.

According to

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