NGC 7714

NGC 7714NGC 7714 is a spiral galaxy at 100 million light-years from Earth. That makes it a relatively close neighbour in cosmic terms. The galaxy has witnessed some violent and dramatic events in its recent past, as can be seen in NGC 7714’s strangely shaped arms and in the smoky golden haze that stretches out from the galactic centre.

The cause of this mangling is a smaller companion named NGC 7715, which lies just out of the frame of this image. The two galaxies drifted too close together between 100 and 200 million years ago and began to disrupt one another’s structure and shape. As a result, a ring and two long tails of stars have emerged from NGC 7714, creating a bridge between the two galaxies. This bridge acts as a pipeline, funnelling material from NGC 7715 towards its larger companion and feeding bursts of star formation.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

3 thoughts on “NGC 7714

  1. If you want to talk about “mind blown”, think about just what “too close together” means for galaxies, or over what kind of time scale that happens.

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