Universe

Clash between Galaxies. Active Universe

Clash between Galaxies. Active Universe

This image of the Hubble Space Telescope relieves fireworks in the center of a collision between two galaxies. Hubble has discovered more than a thousand clusters of young stars that explode to life as a result of this frontal crash.

The Antennae galaxies, formally known as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, have a pair of long tails of luminous matter, formed by the gravitational tide of their encounter. They look like the antennae of an insect. The galaxies are 63 million light-years from Earth, in the constellation of the Southern Crow.

The respective centers of the twin galaxies are the orange areas. They are crossed by dark matter filaments. A broad band of chaotic dust extends between the centers of the two galaxies. A crushing spiral staircase is traced by clusters of blue stars. It is the result of an active fire storm, the birth of the stars activated by the collision.

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Album: Photos of the Universe Gallery: Active Universe