Release 79 of 109

Intergalactic 'Pipeline' Funnels Matter Between Colliding Galaxies

Release date: Jan 9, 2001 12:30 PM (EST)
Release type: American Astronomical Society Meeting

This visible-light picture, taken by the Hubble telescope, reveals an intergalactic "pipeline" of material flowing between two battered galaxies that bumped into each other about 100 million years ago. The pipeline [the dark string of matter] begins in NGC 1410 [the galaxy at left], crosses over 20,000 light-years of intergalactic space, and wraps around NGC 1409 [the companion galaxy at right] like a ribbon around a package. The galaxies reside about 300 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.