Release 169 of 1,057
Colliding Galaxy Pair Takes Flight
Release date: Jun 20, 2013 12:00 PM (EDT)
Colliding Galaxy Pair Takes Flight
Release type: Hubble Heritage

What looks like a celestial hummingbird is really the result of a collision between a spiral and an elliptical galaxy at a whopping 326 million light- years away. The flat disk of the spiral NGC 2936 is warped into the profile of a bird by the gravitational tug of the companion NGC 2937. The object was first cataloged as a "peculiar galaxy" by Halton Arp in the 1960s. This interacting galaxy duo is collectively called Arp 142.