Galaxy NGC 6240. Shows in the Universe

Galaxy NGC 6240. Shows in the Universe

The galaxy NGC 6240 is the best example of one of the greatest shows in the Universe, a galactic collision. Hidden under a cloud of gas located in the constellation Ofiuco, 400 million light years away, this impressive event is taking place.

Thanks to the images of the Chandra X-ray Observatory, it has been possible to study the collision of two spiral galaxies such as the Milky Way. NGC 6420 is the remnant of the clash between both progenitor galaxies, which originates a huge galaxy with two nuclei. The galactic collision has also resulted in an unusual amount of gas that houses the birth of around 10,000 million soles.

Currently the NGC 6240 gas cloud radiates a temperature of seven million degrees Kelvin. Each of the two galaxies contains a supermassive black hole in its center. Both black holes will also end up merging, resulting in a much more massive black hole. It is believed that, after a period of millions of years, the two spiral galaxies will shape an elliptical galaxy.

During the collision between galaxies, the gas contained in each of them stirred violently, which led to a period of creation of new stars that already lasts 200 million years. Some of the most massive stars that emerged from this process crowded and exploded relatively quickly, like supernovae.

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