The Medusa Merger


The Medusa Merger (aka NGC 4194) is a pair of interacting galaxies in the constellation Ursa Major. As one galaxy has consumed a smaller gas-rich system, throwing out streams of stars and dust into space, which resemble the writhing snakes that Medusa, a monster in Greek mythology famously had on her head in place of hair. Its gas-rich central region, the Eye of Medusa, is an area of extremely intense star formation.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA