In its more than 30 years of service, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has made more than 1.3 million observations of intriguing cosmic events. It once captured two galaxies being attracted to each other by a gravitational pull named Arp 147, using its prime working camera – the Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2). Now, NASA has shared the picture again on Instagram. The image captures two galaxies in such a way that they appear in the shape of the number ’10’. In this, the galaxy on the left forms the shape of “1”, which looks like a ring of starlight. At the same time, the galaxy on the right appears as a “0”.
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captioned the picture on Instagram, writing (translated) “Welcome to ARP 147, an interacting galaxy pair! The leftmost galaxy in this Hubble classic photo appears almost at the edge of our line of sight. And it has a ring of starlight. The galaxy on the right has a blue ring of intense star formation.”
A NASA release states that ARP 147 is about 440 million light years away from Earth in the constellation Cetus. This image was created by combining WFPC2 photos taken with three different filters.
According to NASA, the blue ring may form after the galaxy on the left passes through the galaxy on the right, just as a pebble thrown into a pond produces a circular wave that travels outward. The dusty red part in the lower left corner of the blue ring has been speculated to be the galaxy’s early nucleus.
Hubble has been developed by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA). ESA has said That this photo was taken in October 2008, four weeks after a problem with the Science Data Formatter put Hubble in safe mode. At the time, this photo demonstrated that the camera aboard Hubble was working fine.