News Release Archive:

News Release 163 of 1051

June 20, 2013 12:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2013-23

Colliding Galaxy Pair Takes Flight


Video: Colliding Galaxy Pair Arp 142 Takes Flight (Narrated Version)

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The southern constellation Hydra is home to an unusual deep-sky object. Located 326 million light-years away, it was first cataloged in the 1960s as a peculiar galaxy. In this Hubble Space Telescope view, the celestial wonder looks more like a hummingbird next to an egg. In reality, it is a pair of galaxies that are colliding with each other. The blue galaxy once had a pinwheel shape, like that of our Milky Way. But the gravitational pull of a nearby companion galaxy has stretched it like a piece of taffy. Collisions like this were common in the early universe.

Credit: NASA, ESA, G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (Viz 3D Team, STScI), and M. Estacion (STScI)

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