Pic of the Week: A Variety of Galaxies

Image (Credit): Multiple galaxies captured by the NASA/ESA Space Telescope – noted below. (ESA/Hubble & NASA, W. Keel)

With all the excitement about the James Webb Space Telescope, let’s not forget about the ongoing great work being performed by the Hubble Space Telescope. This recently released Hubble image shows multiple galaxies as well as multiple types of galaxies.

Here is a full description from the European Space Agency:

This luminescent image features multiple galaxies, perhaps most noticeably LEDA 58109, the lone galaxy in the upper right. LEDA 58109 is flanked by two further galactic objects to its lower left — an active galactic nucleus (AGN) called SDSS J162558.14+435746.4 that partially obscures the galaxy SDSS J162557.25+435743.5, which appears to poke out to the right behind the AGN. 

Galaxy classification is sometimes presented as something of a dichotomy: spiral and elliptical. However, the diversity of galaxies in this image alone highlights the complex web of galaxy classifications that exist, including galaxies that house extremely luminous AGNs at their cores, and galaxies whose shapes defy the classification of either spiral or elliptical.