An astrophotographer from Ottawa, Canada, earned the recognition of NASA after he imaged the outcomes of the collision of two galaxies. His photo won its place as NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.
The astrophotographer, Rudy Pohl, showed a spiral galaxy 100 million light-years from Earth, known as NGC 7714, which collided with NGC 7715 galaxy. Rudy Pohl said that “there’s a gravitational force that has been set up between them, sort of pulling it apart.”
“It’s really extraordinary to get one of those. Hundreds of images get submitted every day to NASA for this,” Rudy Pohl added during an interview with CTV News. Even though the image might look like capturing the collision between the two galaxies at the right moment, in reality, the blue and orange arms belong to the same galaxy – NGC 7714.
NGC 7714 has been “stretched and distorted by a recent collision,” as NASA’s Astronomy Picture of the Day describes it.
Canadian Astrophotographer Imaged The Outcomes Of The Collision Of Two Galaxies
“What they do is they put a colored filter in front of that black and white camera. In this case, there are three colors, red, green, and blue. It’s called RGB imaging. It’s the same imaging as in our computer monitors and in our televisions,” Rudy Pohl explained how scientists from NASA obtain colorful images with distant space objects.
“So the Hubble camera first puts a red filter in front of it, which means it blocks out everything but the red, and so the red wavelength hits the camera, and you get an image,” the Canadian astrophotographer added.
We should understand that, primarily, images with distant space objects come in black and white. Using different filters, the photos that result reveal essential information of different wavelengths. Astrophotographers take those different greyscale photos and fill them with correspondent colors as the filters show.
NGC 7714 is a close neighbor in terms of astronomy. The image showing the results of the collision between the two galaxies is stunning, and it can also reveal more about galactic mergers.