Good News! Hubble is Back!

Four weeks ago, the Hubble Space Telescope encountered a major failure and was unable to send any data back to Earth… The failure of the “Side A” control system forced to shut down Hubble’s science operations and put it in safe mode.

But now, Hubble is back in business again on October 25 after overcoming some glitches in restarting the Side B backup system . Hubble then went back to work and sent us a beautiful galaxy pair with a number “10”, telling us that it’s working perfectly.

Arp 147 by Hubble

This galaxy pair is known as Arp 147. The left galaxy is orientated nearly edge-on to us that it shows the number “1” and the one on the right shows the number “0” with its blue ring of intense star formation. Credits: NASA, ESA and M. Livio (STScI).

Arp 147 is a pair of gravitationally interacting galaxies located more than 400 million light-years away in Cetus. It is named after Halton Arp, an American astronomer who had catalogues quite a numbers of unusual or peculiar galaxies in the Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies published in 1966. Almost all of Arp’s galaxies later turned out to be interacting and merging galaxies, which we now know is quite common in our universe.

The blue ring was formed after the galaxy on the left passed through the galaxy on the right. The collision between the galaxies produced shocks waves and dense gases, which in turn triggered huge amount of star formation. The ring (or galaxy) looks blue due to massive stars being born, and young massive stars are blue. The dusty reddish knot at the lower left of the blue ring probably marks the location of the original nucleus of the galaxy that was hit.

Source: HubbleSite NewsCentre

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~ by thChieh on October 31, 2008.

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