The Hubble Space Telescope, a joint venture between NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA), has captured an image of two overlapping spiral galaxies, SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461.
These galaxies, located over a billion light-years away from our planet, appear to be colliding in the image. However, this is likely a mere coincidence, as there's no evidence to suggest that the two galaxies are actually interacting. Despite this, Hubble has been successful in capturing numerous images of other galaxies that are genuinely interacting.
This particular image is part of a larger collection of observations made by Hubble as part of the Galaxy Zoo project. Initiated in 2007, Galaxy Zoo is a large-scale citizen science initiative that relies on the collective efforts of hundreds of thousands of volunteers to classify galaxies imaged by robotic telescopes. These volunteers are often the first humans to ever observe these celestial objects.
Throughout the duration of the original Galaxy Zoo project, volunteers have discovered a variety of unique galaxies, including unusual three-armed spiral galaxies and colliding ring galaxies. The project's coordinators applied for Hubble's observation time to study the most unusual galaxies discovered by the project. In keeping with the project's crowdsourced nature, the list of targets was chosen through a public vote.