NASA and the European Space Agency scientists have released jaw-dropping images of one of the most unusual cosmic phenomena in the universe, and they have done so to cheer us all up after the 2020 nightmare.
The two agencies, which co-run the Hubble Telescope, released a montage of six spectacular galaxy mergers to usher in the new year with some fanfare.
A crucial moment in the formation of solar systems and entire galaxies, the collision of two such systems has
been defined by NASA and ESA boffins as ‘one of the most spectacular events in the lifetime of a galaxy.’
One of the best ways civilization can start to figure out exactly how star clusters are formed is to be able to study consolidation and can help us trace back the extreme physical conditions it must have existed for the creation of our own home galaxy, the Milky Way.
And, incredibly, in these far-off galaxies, some of the star clusters completely outweigh our own.
Star clusters appear to be around 10,000 times the mass of our own Sun in the Milky Way, but star clusters can be millions of times bigger in these collisions.
And since the energy given off by such massive stellar clusters makes them so much more luminous, they make stunning images.
This means that the Hubble Telescope collects more details and, thanks to technological advances, top docs at NASA and ESA have been able to identify the ages and masses of these clusters of stars.
The study has also helped to determine precisely how much these galaxies change each time a collision occurs.