Multiple Galaxy Collisions
Here is a sampling of 15 ultraluminous infrared galaxies viewed by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope.
Hubble's sharp vision reveals more complexity within these galaxies, which astronomers are interpreting as evidence of a multiple-galaxy pileup. These images, taken by the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2, are part of a three-year study of 123 galaxies within 3 billion light-years of Earth. The study was conducted in 1996, 1997, and 1999. False colors were assigned to these photos to enhance fine details within these coalescing galaxies.
NASA, Kirk Borne (Raytheon and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.), Luis Colina (Instituto de Fisica de Cantabria, Spain), and Howard Bushouse and Ray Lucas (Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.)