Mergers and Acquisitions

The messy result of a galactic collisionThis is a collision between two galaxies—a spiral galaxy and a lenticular galaxy. There’s an almost 3D appearance to the picture as the spiral arms embrace the lenticular galaxy’s bulge.

There’s more evidence of the collision in the image. Look at the stream of stars coming out from the merging galaxies toward the top of the image. The bright spot in the middle of the plume is the unique feature of this collision. That spot is believed to be the former nucleus of the spiral galaxy ejected from the system during the collision. It’s now being disassembled by tidal forces producing the stream of stars.

Image Credit: NASA

Leave a Reply