Public votes for "handshake" galaxies as Hubble's next target

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Washington, March 3 (ANI): In an online vote, the public has voted for a pair of close-knit galaxies that look like they are shaking hands, as the next target for observation by the Hubble Space Telescope.

Out of a total of 139,944 votes cast online by the public since the "Hubble, You Decide" contest opened on January 28, nearly 50 percent favored the interacting pair of spiral galaxies called Arp 274 (from the Arp Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies) over five other celestial candidates.

The galaxies look like they are shaking hands, or rather, spiral arms.

Hubble has shown that interacting galaxies are very photogenic because, under the relentless pull of gravity, they weave elegant twisted lanes of dust and stars, and brilliant blue clusters of newborn stars.

The new picture of Arp 274 promises to reveal intriguing never-before-seen details in the galactic grand slam.

The Hubble observations will be taken during the International Year of Astronomy's "100 Hours of Astronomy," taking place from April 2-5.

The full-color galaxy image will be released publicly during that time. (ANI)

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