A stunning image sent back from the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA joint telescope which looks as if an alien face is emerging in deep space. The odd-looking structure is created by blueish hue consisting of gas and faint stars making up the shape of the face while two sets of bright clusters of stars make up the eyes. The “ghostly face” is actually two galaxies on a collision course with one another, with Hubble capturing the moment they are about to merge.
The merger has been assigned the name Arp-Madore 2026-424, and is located a staggering 704 million light-years from Earth.
For reference, one light-year is about 5.88 trillion miles (9.5 trillion km).
NASA said on its website: “This new image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captures two galaxies of equal size in a collision that appears to resemble a ghostly face.
“This observation was made on 19 June 2019 in visible light by the telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.
“Residing 704 million light-years from Earth, this system is catalogued as Arp-Madore 2026-424 (AM 2026-424) in the Arp-Madore ‘Catalogue of Southern Peculiar Galaxies and Associations’.”
The Hubble telescope is set to be retired in 2021 after more than 30 years of service having been launched in 1990.
However, its successor, the more powerful James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), will take over.
The infrared machine is so powerful it will reach back to the furthest realms and the earliest moments of the universe.
However, as JWST is much more powerful, it will be able to see just 0.3 billion years after the Big Bang to when visible light itself was beginning to form.
WST will also be situated much farther out in space than Hubble.
Hubble is placed in Earth’s orbit just 570,000 kilometres from the surface, but JWST will be placed an astonishing 1.5 million kilometres from Earth, meaning that if it breaks down while it is up there, it will not be able to be fixed.