Astronomy textbooks typically present galaxies as staid, solitary, and majestic island worlds of glittering stars. But galaxies have a dynamical side. They have close encounters that sometimes end in grand mergers and overflowing sites of new star birth as the colliding galaxies morph into wondrous new shapes. Today, in celebration of the Hubble Space Telescope's 18th launch anniversary, this poster with 59 views of colliding galaxies constitute the largest collection of Hubble images ever released to the public. This new Hubble atlas dramatically illustrates how galaxy collisions produce a remarkable variety of intricate structures in never-before-seen detail.
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration;
Acknowledgment: A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University), W. Keel (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa), K. Noll, B. Whitmore and M. Stiavelli (STScI), G. Ostlin (Stockholm University), and J. Westphal (Caltech)