The agency noted that this image is a beautiful example of pareidolia. which is the human tendency to see familiar shapes .or patterns in unrelated objects. However. the two galaxies are strongly linked through gravitational interactions.
The image displays a typical spiral galaxy known as NGC 2936 and a small elliptical galaxy called NGC 2937. When these galaxies approach each other. the gravitational influence starts to distort their shapes. Sometimes. galaxies merge. while in other cases. they undergo tearing .and distortion.
Researchers have studied the twisted remnants of the larger spiral galaxy. which allows them to see remnants that resemble the “eye” of the bird. However. the starry arms that were once spiraled have now become twisted lines of blue and red within the bird’s eyes.
Although this image was captured in 2013. it recently came back into the spotlight when scientists used the Hubble Space Telescope .to complete a catalog of what are known as peculiar galaxies.