NASA's Hubble telescope captures galaxy duo by the 'Hare'

NASA has released a beautiful image of the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare).

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 13, 2017, 00:51 AM IST
NASA's Hubble telescope captures galaxy duo by the 'Hare'
Image credit: NASAESA/Hubble & NASA

New Delhi: The US space agency NASA has released a beautiful image of the unusual galaxy IRAS 06076-2139, found in the constellation Lepus (The Hare).

The image was captured by NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope.

According to NASA, Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) and Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instruments have observed the galaxy from a distance of 500 million light-years.

The particular object stands out from the crowd by actually being composed of two separate galaxies rushing past each other at about 2 million kilometers (1,243,000 miles) per hour.

The speed is most likely too fast for them to merge and form a single galaxy.

Because of their small separation of only about 20,000 light-years, the galaxies will distort one another through the force of gravity while passing each other, changing their structures on a grand scale, as reported.

Such galactic interactions are a common sight for Hubble, and have long been a field of study for astronomers.