A new image of galaxy cluster Abell 1033 that was just released on November 15 has many remarking that the photograph looks remarkably like an image of the Starship Enterprise from Star Trek as it prepares itself for warp speed by growing swiftly blurry.
As Space reports, the new image has been extracted from data taken from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, which combines radio from the Low-Frequency Array network in the Netherlands with X-rays available from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory. The image itself is actually a composite that uses X-rays and radio wavelengths along with optical light.
Abell 1033, which appears so much like the Starship Enterprise in its appearance, can be found at a distance of 1.6 billion light-years away from Earth, and the new image that was released is technically not just one, but two galaxy clusters that are colliding with each other so fiercely that turbulence and shock waves have resulted from the collision.
In describing the stunning image of Abell 1033, members of the Chandra mission team explained that matter is currently being projected into a black hole.
“In Abell 1033, the collision has interacted with another energetic cosmic process — the production of jets of high-speed particles by matter spiraling into a supermassive black hole, in this case one located in a galaxy in one of the clusters.”
They also noted, “These jets are revealed by radio emission to the left and right sides of the image. The radio emission is produced by electrons spiraling around magnetic field lines, a process called synchrotron emission.”
SpaceX engineer and author Andrew Rader was quick to describe how the image of Abell 1033 looks not only like the Starship Enterprise, but how if you look on the right side of the spaceship you may witness the disturbing image of an astronaut floating, untethered, away from it as he begins to drift through space.
Seems a stretch to claim similarity to the starship Enterprise (left), but the thing on the right does look like a giant astronaut floating away and not happy about it.https://t.co/1OQcfTPTcd pic.twitter.com/Xt13cBHMCm
— Andrew Rader (@marsrader) November 17, 2018
We know, of course, that the image of the galaxy cluster is neither a spaceship from Star Trek nor an astronaut, but is really part of the phenomenon that is known pareidolia, which is the natural human tendency to recognize and seek out objects that are familiar to them in anything that is jumbled up or unclear.
Nevertheless, what we are really witnessing when we gaze at Abell 1033 and see the Starship Enterprise is truly spectacular in and of itself as it is a radio emission that covers an astonishing 500,000 light-years with re-energized electrons.