As we sit on our hunk of rock somewhere in the outskirts of the Milky Way, we have no way to see ourselves from the outside. The Triangulum Galaxy helps us to imagine what we could look like. It is the third-largest member of the Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy and about 30 other smaller galaxies. This galactic wonder is one of the most distant permanent objects that can be viewed with the naked eye.
Observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory have revealed a massive cloud of multimillion-degree gas in a galaxy about 60 million light years from Earth. The hot gas cloud is likely caused by a collision between a dwarf galaxy and a much larger galaxy called NGC 1232. If confirmed, this discovery would mark the first time such a collision has been detected only in X-rays, and could have implications for understanding how galaxies grow through similar collisions.
The Hubble Space Telescope has wowed us again, this time with an image of a galactic dance between two galaxies. As the pair get closer to each other their original shapes are stretched and pulled promoting imagination and wonder to all who view them. Some have said they look like a penguin or hummingbird. What do you see?
This is the newest image gifted to us Earthlings by the Hubble Space Telescope, a tale of two galaxies merged together as one. Catalogued as 2MASX J05210136-2521450 this majestic galactic treasure is certainly deserving of a more exciting name. As it's bright nucleus shines inside a cocoon of brightly lit swirls of hot dust and gas new stars are flashing into life.