NASA balloon captures colliding Antennae Galaxies

May 17, 2023

This view of the Antennae Galaxies, two large galaxies colliding 60 million light-years away, is one of the first research images from the Super Pressure Balloon Imaging Telescope (SuperBIT) that launched on a scientific super pressure balloon from Wānaka on April 16, 2023 (local time New Zealand). 

This image and one of the Tarantula Nebula were captured as the balloon-borne telescope floated at 108,000 feet (approximately 20.5 miles or 33 km) above Earth’s surface, allowing scientists to view these scientific targets from a balloon platform in a near-space environment.

The SuperBIT telescope captures images of galaxies in the visible-to-near ultraviolet light spectrum, which is within the Hubble Space Telescope’s capabilities, but with a wider field of view.

SuperBIT’s goal is to map dark matter around galaxy clusters by measuring the way these massive objects warp the space around them.

Keen to know where NASA's giant balloon goes? You can track it online here. 

Image Credit: NASA/SuperBIT

Read more on the NASA blog here

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