Today’s Solutions: November 28, 2022

The Hubble Space Telescope ventured into space over three decades ago in 1990 and has observed around 50,000 celestial bodies to date. During this time, the incredible telescope fundamentally changed our understanding of the universe.

Some of these achievements include its recent sighting of the furthest star on record or its dazzling footage capturing a supernova five billion times brighter than the Sun.

Capturing “dancing” galaxies

Hubble has recently captured a glorious image of a galaxy cluster, named Hickson Compact Group 40 (HCG 40), engaging in a leisurely dance. This eclectic group includes three spiral-shaped galaxies, a lenticular (lens-like) galaxy, and an elliptical galaxy.

These five galaxies are packed particularly close together and would be able to fit in a region less than twice the length of the Milky Way’s stellar disk. What makes this group unusual is they are isolated in their own patch of the universe. This notable separation is still not fully understood, though astronomers theorize it is because of large amounts of dark matter between the galaxies.

Colliding towards a giant galaxy

Around one billion years from now, these individual bodies will collide and merge into one giant elliptical galaxy. Therefore, this snapshot captures a very special moment in their lifetime, aligning perfectly with our small blip of human existence.

This time scale was able to be predicted using various pieces of equipment that recruit visible light, radio, X-ray, and infrared wavelengths. Through these, rates of star formation, gravitational interaction, and the presence of supermassive black holes can be estimated.

What can this image teach us?

In more than 100 compact galaxy groups scientists have spotted, HCG 40 is the most densely packed. It is predicted that close-knit formations such as this were common in the early universe and provided fuel for black holes.

Studying this rare example is key to understanding early galaxy formation, looking at when and where galaxies assemble, and what these beautiful formations are made of.

The James Webb Space Telescope is a shiny new kid on the block and will soon take the lead in investigating our mysterious universe. With Webb’s more updated pieces of equipment, Hubble’s work can be paired and updated to strengthen current theories.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

These innovative solar panels stalk the sun across the sky

In order to get the most out of its energy, a Portuguese company's sustainable solution stalks the Sun as it journeys across the sky. ...

Read More

5 questions for assessing your own emotional intelligence

When it comes to working with others, Marcel Schwantes believes emotional intelligence (EQ) is everything. As leaders, when we are being impulsive, shortsighted, reacting ...

Read More

Meet Jenny, the horse who takes a daily stroll alone through Frankfurt

The following story may not necessarily be a solution, but we hope it puts a smile on your face. In the city of Frankfurt, ...

Read More

9 home interior design tips for longevity

The lives and habits of those who live in Blue Zones, otherwise known as the regions where the longest-living people on the planet live, ...

Read More