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Using Telescopes as a Cosmic Magnifying Glass Gives an Brilliant View of Colliding Galaxies

The best view yet of distant colliding galaxies is given by a coalition of the cosmos coming together. With a view to capture the image, the astronomers used telescopes on Earth and in space along with the gravity of distant galaxies.

Light was first emitting from the object when the universe was just half its current age, though the colliding galaxies known as H_ATLAS J142935.3-002836 is so far away.

A Cosmic Magnifying Glass. Telescopes Offer Incredible View Of Colliding Galaxies Photo Credit: FreeDigialPhotos.net

A Cosmic Magnifying Glass. Telescopes Offer Incredible View Of Colliding Galaxies
Photo Credit: FreeDigialPhotos.net

How is such a distant object managed to be captured by the astronomers?  An effect called gravitational lensing was used by them. It is much like magnifying glass, light bends aroud distant objects such as galaxies

It looks like two disc-shaped galaxies colliding with each other as shown in the image above. It is actually a galaxy closer to us doing the gravitational lensing imitating the diagonal Milky-Way looking band overlaid on top. The working of gravitational lensing can be view while checking out the diagram.

“These chance alignments are quite rare and tend to be hard to identify,” Hugo Messias, the lead author of a study on the colliding galaxies, said in a press release. “But, recent studies have shown that by observing at far-infrared and millimetre wavelengths we can find these cases much more efficiently.”

Massive effort was done to capture the above image from several telescopes. The Hubble and Spitzer telescopes in space along with the ALMA in Chile, the Keck Observatory in Hawaii and the Very Large Array in New Mexico were included.

“With the combined power of Hubble and these other telescopes we have been able to locate this very fortunate alignment, take advantage of the foreground galaxy’s lensing effects and characterize the properties of this distant merger and the extreme starburst within it,” said co-author Rob Ivison of the European Southern Observatory.

About Enozia Vakil

Enozia Vakil is an online entrepreneur, writer, editor and an avid reader. She has been associated with some of the best names in both online and print media, and holds a degree in Alternative Medicine.