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Galaxy with three "arms": the first images made by the reanimated "Hubble" appear
21 July 2021, 21:15
Galaxy with three "arms": the first images made by the reanimated "Hubble" appear
Photo: NASA
NASA employees last week managed to repair and return to full operation the inactive Hubble Space Telescope. Its first images since resuscitation show several different galaxies, including a rare spiral galaxy with three arms.

The first space object captured by the telescope is ARP-MADORE2115-273, according to the Daily Mail . These are two intertwined galaxies located 297 million light years from Earth (1 light year is equal to 9 460 730 472 580 800 meters). Previously, astronomers thought that this object was formed as a result of a head-on merger of two galaxies, but new observations show that the interaction between galaxies is much more complicated and leads to the formation of an extensive network of stars and dusty gas, NASA said in a commentary.

The second image, ARP-MADORE0002-503, shows a spiral galaxy 490 million light-years from Earth. Unlike most spiral galaxies, which have an even number of arms, ARP-MADORE0002-503 has three. The arms — containing dust, gas, young stars and star clusters — extend over a radius of 163,000 light years. This is three times the size of the Milky Way.

Hubble resumed operations on July 17, after a month of inactivity caused by technical malfunctions: in June, its computer stopped and scientific data collection was discontinued. To bring the telescope back to life, NASA switched Hubble to a backup computer - a maneuver that the agency said was "very risky."

A joint project between NASA, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency, Hubble has been observing the universe for over three decades. Since its launch in April 1990, it has made more than 1.5 million observations, from which more than 18,000 scientific papers have been published. The telescope rotates in low earth orbit at an altitude of about 550 kilometers at a speed of about 27,300 km / h.

Unfortunately, age is making itself felt - despite a series of repairs and updates carried out by astronauts in outer space, the Hubble is showing more and more signs of aging. NASA is going to replace it with the James Webb telescope, but so far it has not been able to do this: the Ariane 5 rocket, which should put the device into low-earth orbit, is not yet ready. The launch will take place at the earliest on October 31st. James Webb will spend his first months in space studying exoplanets.