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Stunning First Images From Rebooted Hubble: Bizarre “Oddball” Galaxies

These images, from a program led by Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington in Seattle, demonstrate Hubble’s return to full science operations. [Left] ARP-MADORE2115-273 is a rarely observed example of a pair of interacting galaxies in the southern hemisphere. [Right] ARP-MADORE0002-503 is a large spiral galaxy with unusual, extended spiral arms. While most disk galaxies have an even number of spiral arms, this one has three. Credit: Science: NASA, ESA, STScI, Julianne Dalcanton (UW) Image processing: Alyssa Pagan (STScI)

These two peculiar galaxies are part of a program to survey oddball galaxies scattered across the sky.

These early snapshots demonstrate Hubble’s return to full science operations, following correction of a computer anomaly aboard the spacecraft. Normal science observations were restarted on July 17, at 1:18 pm EDT. Among the early targets are globular star clusters in other galaxies and aurorae on the giant planet Jupiter, in addition to a look at bizarre galaxies.

These two peculiar galaxies are part of a program led by Julianne Dalcanton of the University of Washington in Seattle, to survey oddball galaxies scattered across the sky.

[Left-panel] — ARP-MADORE2115-273 is a rare example of an interacting galaxy pair in the southern hemisphere. These Hubble observations provide Hubble’s first high-resolution glimpse at this intriguing system, which is located 297 million light-years away. Astronomers had previously thought this was a “collisional ring” system due to the head-on merger of two galaxies. The new Hubble observations show that the ongoing interaction between the galaxies is far more complex, leaving behind a rich network of stars and dusty gas.

[Right-panel] — ARP-MADORE0002-503 is a large spiral galaxy with unusual, extended spiral arms, at a distance of 490 million light-years. Its arms extend out to a radius of 163,000 light-years, making it three times more expansive than our Milky Way Galaxy. While most disk galaxies have an even number of spiral arms, this one has three.

“I’ll confess to having had a few nervous moments during Hubble’s shutdown, but I also had faith in NASA’s amazing engineers and technicians. Everyone is incredibly grateful, and we’re excited to get back to science!” said Dalcanton.

The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and ESA (European Space Agency). NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Maryland, conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated for NASA by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy in Washington, D.C.

For more information about the first science images taken with Hubble following its return to science, read Hubble Space Telescope Is Back in Business.



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