This video begins with a view of the southern constellation Sextans and zooms into the peculiar galaxy Arp 142. A close-up look with the Hubble Space Telescope reveals that the object is really two interacting galaxies. A gravitationally distorted spiral galaxy resembles the profile of a hummingbird, while the companion elliptical galaxy resembles an egg. The blue galaxy once had a pinwheel shape, like that of our Milky Way. But the gravitational pull of the nearby companion galaxy has stretched it like a piece of taffy. A synthesized 3-D view shows the relative positions of the galaxies.
Publication: June 20, 2013