IC 2431 is a galaxy located in the constellation of Cancer about 682 million light years distant from us.
It was discovered on February 24, 1896 by the French astronomer Stéphane Javelle.
“The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured what appears to be a triple galaxy merger in progress, as well as a tumultuous mix of star formation and tidal distortions caused by the gravitational interactions of this galactic trio,” comment astronomers at the Hubble. “The center of the image is obscured by a thick cloud of dust, although light from a background galaxy can be seen piercing its outer edges.”
This image is the result of a series of observations with the telescope as part of the Galaxy Zoo citizen science project. This collaborative astronomy project invites all those who are passionate about the cosmos to help in the morphological classification of a large number of galaxies. There have been many versions of this citizen science project where Galaxy Zoo is part of the Zooniverse.
“Using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), astronomers took a closer look at some of the more unusual galaxies the volunteers had identified,” the researchers explained. “The Galaxy Zoo project accomplished what would have been years of work for a professional astronomer in just 175 days, and has spawned a steady stream of similar astronomical citizen science projects.”
Referencia: NASA / ESA / Hubble / W. Keel, Dark Energy Survey / DOE / FNAL / DECam / CTIO / NOIRLab / NSF / AURA / SDSS / Judy Schmidt, geckzilla.com.