The first month of 2024 is coming to an end, but the United States National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), in partnership with the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), has released fascinating new images of the universe around around us.
Using the Hubble Space Telescope and a satellite, space agency astronomers collected new data and released stunning photographs. And to present some of the cosmic beauties revealed during the month of January, TecMundo brought together the most impressive images released by NASA. Check out!
Arp 122 Galaxy
In early January, the Hubble Space Telescope presented an image of the strange galaxy Arp 122, which is home to two spiral galaxies: NGC 6040 and LEDA 59642. Scientists explain that they are in a collision and merger process that could take hundreds millions of years to complete.
Arp 122 is located approximately 570 million light-years away from Earth, so humanity is not at risk of being affected by the future cosmic collision.
The collision of two or more galaxies results in a complete change in the structure of these objects and can even result in a single merged galaxy.Source: ESA / Hubble / NASA
“Galaxies resulting from mergers are considered to have a regular or elliptical structure, as the merger process disrupts more ordered structures (such as those observed in spiral galaxies). It would be fascinating to know what Arp 122 will look like when this collision is complete… but that won't happen for a long, long time,” NASA explains.
Volcano lava in Reykjanes
In December, the Icelandic Meteorological Office reported that a volcano in the southwestern region of the country had erupted after a series of seismic activities. At the time, almost four thousand inhabitants of the city of Grindavik were evacuated due to its proximity to the volcano. Just a month later, the North American space agency released a photograph showing a view of the volcano from a satellite in space.
This is not the first time that lava has reached the Reykjanes peninsula, it is a region known for its intense volcanic activity.Source: Copernicus Sentinel / ESA
“On January 17, 2024, the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission captured this image of a lava flow on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. The lava reached the city of Grindavik, which had already been evacuated,” NASA describes.
Spiral galaxy IC 438
At the end of the month, NASA released a detailed photograph of the spiral galaxy IC438, located near the constellation Lepus (Hare), approximately 130 million light-years away from Earth. According to the space agency, Lepus is one of the 88 constellations officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
Although the Lepus constellation is one of the 88 official IAU constellations, this does not mean that they are the only constellations in the universe.Source: ESA / Hubble / NASA
“It is worth clarifying that although the constellations themselves include only a handful of stars, the area of the sky covered by these stars is often referred to by the name of the constellation. For example, when we say that IC 438 is in Lepus, we do not mean that the galaxy is part of the constellation — perhaps obviously, as it is not a single star, but an entire galaxy,” it is described in an official statement.
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