When galax­ies col­lide

All About Space - - Launch Pad -

Sim­i­lar to the ‘Atoms for Peace’ gal­axy, this dif­fuse-look­ing struc­ture clearly ex­hibits the reper­cus­sions of an an­cient col­li­sion be­tween two galax­ies. NASA and ESA’s Hub­ble Space Tele­scope shows the lay­ers of gas and dust stretch­ing from the core of the com­pli­cat­edly-named SDSS J162702.56+432833.9 el­lip­ti­cal gal­axy.

When these struc­tures crash, this process kick-starts vast amounts of star for­ma­tion in both galax­ies. Af­ter bil­lions of years, the re­sult­ing ga­lac­tic mess is now likely sub­dued, but ap­pears very bright due to a pre­vi­ous wave of star for­ma­tion.

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