Galaxy Collision II – Aftermath
This image is a still frame from a standard video presentation (i.e., for television instead of a planetarium dome) of the galaxy collision scientific visualization. After a head-on collision, the galaxies' shapes are strongly disrupted. The tidal forces of gravity have created long plumes of material called 'tidal tails'. The central regions will relatively quickly fall back together and merge into a single remnant galaxy. Such a collision may occur for our Milky Way Galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy in about five billion years.
F. Summers (Space Telescope Science Institute), C. Mihos (Case Western Reserve University), L. Hernquist (Harvard University)