Space Penguin

The Penguin Post has learned that the Hubble Space Telescope has produced a vivid image of a pair of interacting galaxies that have become known in certain science circles as “The Penguin.  It seems that when two galaxies stray too close to each other they begin to interact, causing spectacular changes in both objects. In some cases the two can merge but in others, they are ripped apart, researchers said. Just below the center of the image is the blue, twisted form of galaxy NGC 2936, one of the two interacting galaxies that form Arp 142 in the constellation of Hydra. Nicknamed “the Penguin” by amateur astronomers, NGC 2936 used to be a standard spiral galaxy before being torn apart by the gravity of its cosmic companion. The remnants of its spiral structure can still be seen – the former galactic bulge now forms the “eye” of the penguin, around which it is still possible to see where the galaxy’s pinwheeling arms once were. These disrupted arms now shape the cosmic penguins “body” as bright streaks of blue and red across the image. These streaks arch down towards NGC 2936’s nearby companion, the elliptical galaxy NGC 2937, visible here as a bright white oval. The pair show an uncanny resemblance to a penguin safeguarding its egg.

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