The James Webb Space Telescope receives all the attention these days, but Hubble, in space since 1990, continues to make amazing astronomical observations.
The latest Hubble image shows Arp-Madore 417-391, a galactic merger located 670 million light-years from Earth. The celestial spectacle can be seen from the southern hemisphere in the constellation of Eridanus. Like NASA Explainthe “two galaxies were warped by gravity and twisted into a colossal ring, leaving their cores nestled side by side”.
The image was made possible by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) on-board camera, which is designed for this sort of thing: spotting distant, ancient galaxies. Hubble is expected to retire by the end of the decade, but NASA and SpaceX are currently developing a plan to extend the life of the aging telescope.
More on this story: NASA and SpaceX are working to propel Hubble into a higher orbit
Astronomers are currently using Hubble as a reconnaissance tool for the recently deployed James Webb Space Telescope, which has already produced some of the most stunning astronomical images we have never seen. Hubble, when not making previously scheduled observations, inspects some lesser-known galaxies, allowing astronomers to compile a list of galaxies of interest for Webb to make follow-up observations..