This image is a sample frame from the galaxy collision scientific visualization for the Einstein Planetarium at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. It is a fisheye projection of the three-dimensional hemispherical dome into a two-dimensional flat image. The image shows part of the aftermath of a galaxy collision. The tidal forces of gravity have strongly distorted the galaxies' shapes, creating long plumes of material called 'tidal tails'.
Credit: F. Summers (Space Telescope Science Institute), C. Mihos (Case Western Reserve University), L. Hernquist (Harvard University)