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NASA Hubble Captures Merging Galaxies
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a whole host of colourful and differently shaped galaxies; some bright and nearby, some fuzzy, and some so far from us they appear as small specks in the background sky. The most prominent characters are the two galaxies on the left — 2MASX J16133219+5103436 at the bottom, and its blue-tinted companion SDSS J161330.18+510335 at the top. The latter is slightly closer to us than its partner, but the two are still near enough to one another to interact. Together, the two make up a galactic pair named Zw I 136. Both galaxies in this pair have disturbed shapes and extended soft halos. They don’t seem to conform to our view of a “typical” galaxy — unlike the third bright object in this frame, a side-on spiral seen towards the right of the image. Astronomers classify galaxies according to their appearance and their shape. The most famous classification scheme is known as the Hubble sequence, devised by its namesake Edwin Hubble. One of the great questions in galaxy evolution is how interactions between galaxies trigger waves of star formation, and why these stars then abruptly stop forming. Interacting pairs like this one present astronomers with perfect opportunities to investigate this. A version of this image was entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Judy Schmidt.
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Edwin Powell Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953) was an American astronomer who profoundly changed our understanding of the universe by demonstrating the existence of galaxies other than our own, the Milky Way. He also discovered that the degree of "Doppler shift" (specifically "redshift") observed in the light spectra from other galaxies increased in proportion to a particular galaxy's distance from Earth. This relationship became known as Hubble's law, and helped establish that the universe is expanding. Hubble has sometimes been incorrectly credited with discovering the Doppler shift in the spectra of galaxies, but this had already been observed earlier by Vesto Slipher, whose data Hubble used.

Edwin Hubble was born to an insurance executive in Marshfield, Missouri, and moved to Wheaton, Illinois, in 1889. In his younger days he was noted more for his athletic prowess than his intellectual abilities, although he did earn good grades in every subject except for spelling. He won seven first places and a third place in a single high school track & field meet in 1906. That year he also set the state high school record for the high jump in Illinois. Another of his personal interests was dry-fly fishing, and he practiced amateur boxing as well.

His studies at the University of Chicago concentrated on mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy, which led to a bachelor of science in 1910. Hubble also became a member of the Kappa Sigma Fraternity (and in 1948 was named the Kappa Sigma "Man of the Year"). He spent the three years after earning his bachelors as one of Oxford University's first Rhodes Scholars, studying jurisprudence initially, then switching his major to Spanish and earning his master's degree in that field. Some of his acquired British mannerisms and dress stayed with him all his life, occasionally irritating his American colleagues.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edwin Hubble."