Gravitationally lensed image of distant galaxy in Abell 68. Image released March 5, 2013.
This Hubble Space Telescope image shows the size scale of the "Space Invader" galaxy spotted in the upper left of the frame. The image captures the galaxy cluster Abell 68. Image released March 5, 2013.
Galaxy cluster Abell 68 contains a spiral galaxy at upper left that resembles an alien from the video game Space Invaders. Image released March 5, 2013.
Galaxy cluster Abell 68 acts as a lens in space to brighten and magnify the light coming from very distant background galaxies. Annotations: 1 and 2: This galaxy is visible twice, because its light has followed two separate paths around an elliptical galaxy before reaching us. The image marked 2 is heavily distorted into what looks like the shape of a simulated alien from the 1970s video game Space Invaders. 3: This galaxy appears to have purple liquid dripping from it. The "droplets" are gas clouds within the galaxy that are being stripped out and heated up as the galaxy passes through a region of denser intergalactic gas. This phenomenon is called ram-pressure stripping. 4: The series of long, light streaks here are background galaxies, the images of which have been heavily distorted by the lensing effects of the cluster in the foreground.
Galaxy cluster Abell 68 contains a spiral galaxy at upper left that resembles an alien from the video game Space Invaders. Can you spot the galaxy in this wider view? Image released March 5, 2013.