When galaxies collide
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.