Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have captured a striking photo of the triple merging system Arp 195.
This Hubble image shows the triple galaxy system Arp 195. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / J. Dalcanton.
Arp 195 lies approximately 763 million light-years away in the constellation of Lynx.
This system is featured in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, a list which showcases some of the weirder and more wonderful galaxies in the Universe, Hubble astronomers said.
Otherwise known as UGC 04653, LEDA 24981 and 2MASX J08535462+3508439, Arp 195 contains at least three galaxy components.
Observing time with Hubble is extremely valuable, so astronomers dont want to waste a second, the researchers said.
The schedule for Hubble observations is calculated using a computer algorithm which allows the spacecraft to occasionally gather bonus snapshots of data between longer observations.
This image of the clashing triplet of galaxies in Arp 195 is one such snapshot, they added.
Extra observations such as these do more than provide spectacular images.
They also help to identify promising targets to follow up with telescopes such as the upcoming NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.
The new image of Arp 195 includes observations from Hubbles Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS).
It is based on data obtained through four optical filters.
The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter.

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