Stunning Photo of 'Bickering' Triplet of Galaxies Taken by NASA's Hubble Telescope

NASA has published a stunning image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope that shows a "bickering" triplet of galaxies engaged in a three-way gravitational tug-of-war.

The interacting system—known as Arp 195—is featured in the Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, a list which contains some of the more unusual galaxies that we know about in the universe.

Arp 195 is located approximately 763 million light-years away in the constellation of Lynx.

This image of the Arp 195 was taken by Hubble as a "bonus" during longer periods of observation.

"Galactic siblings fight, too," a post on the NASA Hubble Space Telescope Instagram account read. "This view shows a triplet of galaxies, called Arp 195, caught in a gravitational tug-of-war game.

"Ask any astronomer, and they'll tell you that observation time with Hubble is extremely valuable. There isn't time to waste a second, so the schedule for Hubble's observations is calculated using a computer algorithm which allows the spacecraft to sometimes collect 'bonus' snapshots of data in between longer observations. This image is one of those 'extra' observations!"

In addition to providing spectacular images, observations like these can help to identify promising targets to examine further with upcoming, next-generation observatories, such as the James Webb Space Telescope.

Since it began operations more than 30 years ago, Hubble has been providing a continuous stream of stunning images, such as the one showing Arp 195.

A joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency, the telescope is capable of imaging the universe in a broad range of wavelengths from ultraviolet to near-infrared light.

From its orbit high above the Earth, the telescope is able to capture crystal-clear images that are unaffected by our planet's atmosphere.

The telescope was launched into orbit on April 24, 1990, from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery.

In July, NASA published some more images taken by Hubble that showed a set of spectacular galaxies.

Hubble's back! 🎉

After the Hubble team successfully turned on backup hardware aboard the telescope, the observatory got back to work over the weekend and took these galaxy snapshots.

Find out more here:

— Hubble (@NASAHubble) July 19, 2021

One of the images shows a rarely observed example of a pair of interacting galaxies, while the other features a large, spiral galaxy with, unusual, extended arms.

The images were taken just days after the iconic observatory was repaired. The telescope was put into safe mode after experiencing a sudden problem with one of its onboard computers on June 13.

"I'm thrilled to see that Hubble has its eye back on the universe, once again capturing the kind of images that have intrigued and inspired us for decades," NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a statement following the repair.

"This is a moment to celebrate the success of a team truly dedicated to the mission. Through their efforts, Hubble will continue its 32nd year of discovery, and we will continue to learn from the observatory's transformational vision."

Arp 195
The Hubble Space Telescope image showing a dramatic triplet of galaxies known as Arp 195. ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Dalcanton