NASA / ESA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a galactic angel wing, or more specifically two merging galaxies in the VV-689 system. This collision left the VV-689 system in near completely symmetrical shape, giving it the optical illusion of a massive set of galactic wings. This sighting occurred when Hubble observed “Zoo Gems,” which are basically an interesting set of galaxies from the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project.
“Zoo Gems” is essentially a crowdsourced program that relies on volunteers to classify galaxies and help astronomers comb through a spate of data from robotic telescopes. During this time-consuming process, a group of volunteers discovered a gallery of bizarre galaxy types, some not previously studied. There is also a similar project called Radio Galaxy Zoo: LOFAR that uses the same crowdsourcing approach to locate supermassive black holes in distant galaxies. Back here on Earth, we have companies merging electric skateboard and scooter into one.
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Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys took detailed follow-up observations of noteworthy objects from both projects. In keeping with Galaxy Zoo’s crowdsourced nature, the public cast 18,000 votes to choose targets for follow-up Hubble observations. The selected targets include ring-shaped galaxies, unusual spirals, and a striking selection of galaxy mergers such as VV-689,” said NASA.