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News Release Archive:

News Release 703 of 958

October 21, 1997 01:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-1997-34

Hubble Reveals Stellar Fireworks Accompanying Galaxy Collisions

A Space Science Update Release

October 21, 1997: The Hubble telescope has uncovered over 1,000 bright; young star clusters bursting to life in a brief, intense, brilliant "fireworks show" at the heart of a pair of colliding galaxies.

The picture on the left provides a sweeping view of the two galaxies, called the Antennae. The green shape pinpoints Hubble's view. Hubble's close-up view [right] provides a detailed look at the "fireworks" at the center of this wreck. The respective cores of the twin galaxies are the orange blobs, left and right of center, crisscrossed by filaments of dark dust. A wide band of chaotic dust stretches between the cores of the two galaxies. The sweeping spiral-like patterns, traced by bright blue star clusters, are the result of a firestorm of star birth that was triggered by the collision.

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Credit: Brad Whitmore (STScI) and NASA