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NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Captures the Universe's Brightest Galaxies


The galaxy images revealed a tangled web of misshapen objects punctuated by exotic patterns such as rings and arcs.
The odd shapes are due largely to the foreground lensing galaxies' powerful gravity distorting the images of the background galaxies.
The unusual forms also may have been produced by spectacular collisions between distant, massive galaxies in a sort of cosmic demolition derby, the researchers observed.
"We have hit the jackpot of gravitational lenses," said lead researcher James Lowenthal of Smith College in Massachusetts, US.

"These ultra-luminous galaxies are very rare. Gravitational lensing magnifies them so that you can see small details that otherwise are unimaginable. We want to understand what's powering these monsters, and gravitational lensing allows us to study them," he added.

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