During the merger, reciprocal gravitation alters the shapes of the galaxies, resulting in the formation of a ring.
The tremendous gravitational pull of two merging galaxies warps their arms into an embrace in a stunning new Hubble Space Telescope photograph.
The galaxy merger, known as Arp-Madore 417-391, is located in the Southern Hemisphere constellation Eridanus, approximately 670 million light-years away. It was first listed in the Arp-Madore collection of strange and unusual galaxies. The nuclei of the two merging galaxies are left side by side on the structure’s bottom left, which is what makes this particular galaxy merger so intriguing. The gravity of the two galaxies bends and distorts their shapes, forming an uneven ring.
A ring galaxy, the most well-known of which is Hoag’s object and which accounts for less than 0.1% of all known galaxies, is somewhat reminiscent of Arp-Madore 417-391. Ring galaxies, as the name implies, have a characteristic ring structure rather than the arms of a conventional spiral galaxy. While astronomers debate the process, galaxy collisions are regarded to be a feasible possibility for this type of galaxy creation.
The Hubble Space Telescope captured the image while scanning “interesting targets” for potential James Webb Space Telescope candidates for extra in-depth follow-up research. While less dramatic than Arp-Madore 417-391, the Hubble team just published Wild’s Triplet, another Arp-Madore object that displays the gravitational impact of two interacting galaxies.
Hubble obtained the image of Arp-Madore 417-391 using its Advanced Camera for Surveys, which is designed to search for old galaxies and galaxy clusters that formed in the early universe. The James Webb Space Telescope, on the other hand, is far better suited for this type of deep-space inquiry due to its sensors’ capacity to go much further into the infrared spectrum and so reveal finer details of galaxies that are much older than Arp-Madore 417-391.
Arp-Madore 417-391 may never see Webb again, but compiling a list of intriguing possibilities for the advanced space telescope is an important starting step.