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A 2.5 billion pixel composite of Cygnus constellation. Click here for more.

The Hubble Space Telescope, a joint project of the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA, has made some of the most important discoveries in the history of science. From its vantage point 600 km above Earth’s surface, freed of the distorting effects of Earth’s atmosphere, Hubble’s “eyes” can see five times more sharply than those of ground-based telescopes and look deep into space to probe the profound mysteries that are still buried in the mists of time.

Among the most fascinating and dramatic events that Hubble has been able to show in high resolution are the cosmic collisions between galaxies. These gigantic encounters create phenomena that give rise to strange features involving clusters bursting with new stars, twisting lanes of gas and dust, and tidal tails extending over hundreds of thousands of light-years.

The importance of these cosmic encounters reaches far beyond the aesthetic Hubble images. These collisions may be some of the most important processes shaping the universe we inhabit today. Colliding galaxies very likely hold some of the most important clues to our galactic ancestry and to our destiny. It now seems clear that the galaxy we all live in, the Milky Way, is still continuously undergoing merging events, both major and minor, and that this process is much more important in the lives of galaxies than previously thought.

Hubble’s images are snapshots in time and have caught the individual stages of intergalactic collisions. These different stages can be put together into a movie showing how these monumental collisions progress. 

In this book, we will give a brief and up-to-date introduction to the lives of galaxies — how they were born, evolve over time, and collide — using the best pictures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Many of these images are from a huge investigation of luminous infrared galaxies called the GOALS project (Great Observatory All-sky LIRG Survey, The Hubble observations were led by Aaron S. Evans from Stony Brook University (U.S.)

BUY the book online at:

Cosmic Collisions – The Hubble Atlas of Merging Galaxies by Lars Lindberg Christensen, Raquel Yumi Shida, Davide De Martin.
(ISBN-10: 0387938532. ISBN-13: 978-0387938530)

142 pages, 85 ill., hardcover, approximately
30 x 25 cm,
available in English
and German.

I produce images of the most beautiful celestial objects using the most advanced techniques of digital image processing. I begun turning into images the data captured by astronomers at Mount Palomar Observatory, and continued working with data collected by the Hubble Space Telescope and several professional observatories.
2005 I'm a proud member of ESO's Educational and Public Outreach Department, serving as an imager processor and helping to produce some of the most amazing images of the night-sky jewels.

Simeis 147 SNR

Vela Supernova Remnant

Pleiades (Messier 45)

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Use of images | Contact me

All images presented in this website are copyrighted © Davide De Martin (2005-2014) otherwise noted. Reproduction or distribution of these images is not permitted without written consent. See also my policy of the use of images for further details or email me. Comments are welcome.
The astronomical images presented in this site were created with the help of the ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator.