It seems that optical illusions are universe-al.
Even space is hopping on the viral optical illusion trend: Social media space cadets are going gaga over a “far out” image that appears to show two galaxies crashing into each other like an intergalactic grappling match.
[Warning: Spoilers Below]
The interstellar eye exam, captured on NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope on September 5, 2022, depicts “two overlapping spiral galaxies named SDSS J115331 and LEDA 2073461, which lie more than a billion light-years from Earth,” per the NASA site. While initially appears as if the two solar systems are colliding or engaging in star wars, they are actually likely very far apart.
“The alignment of the two galaxies is likely just by chance — the two are not actually interacting,” The European Space Agency writes, analogizing them to “ships that pass in the night.”
This image is one of many Hubble photos captured as part of the Galaxy Zoo project. “Established in 2007, the Galaxy Zoo project and its successors are massive citizen science projects which crowdsource galaxy classifications from a pool of hundreds of thousands of volunteers,” NASA writes. “These volunteers classify galaxies imaged by robotic telescopes and are often the first to ever set eyes on an astronomical object.”
Optical illusions such as this are often just intended as a lighthearted diversion from the stresses of modern life — but they also hold actual scientific value for medical professionals.
These brain teasers are credited with helping researchers shed light on the complex inner workings of the human mind and how it reacts to its surroundings.
Dr. Gustav Kuhn, a psychologist and human perception expert at Goldsmiths University in London, once declared to the Sun that illusions are important to our understanding of the brain: “We typically take perception for granted, and rarely think about the hard work that underpins everyday tasks, such as seeing a cup of coffee in front of you.”
Read the full article here