Home » News & Blogs » Beauty In Chaos — Merging Galaxies And Heady Days For The Future Solar System
Bookmark and Share
Astro Bob

Beauty In Chaos — Merging Galaxies And Heady Days For The Future Solar System

14 Mar 2019, 20:12 UTC
Beauty In Chaos — Merging Galaxies And Heady Days For The Future Solar System
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

In this recently released photo, a pair of galaxies in Hercules is caught in the act of merging into a single object. Both are spiral galaxies but wrenched out of shape by their mutual gravitational pulls. If there were ever beauty in chaos, this is it. ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Adamo et al.
Today let’s see when what happens when two galaxies collide. The pair featured here is located about 230 million light years away in the constellation of Hercules. When they were first discovered by William Herschel in 1784 they looked like a single object in his telescope and received a single catalog number, NGC 6052. But the Hubble Space Telescope clearly reveals two galaxies in mid-collision, each pulling on the other, distorting its shape as they merge into a single, stable galaxy.
More examples of merging galaxies. The powerful gravitational forces in passing or merging galaxies can distort the galaxies’ shapes or peel off stars in long streamers called “tidal tails.” In some, called starburst galaxies, colliding clouds initiate massive rounds of fresh star formation. NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University), K. Noll (STScI), and J. Westphal ...

Latest Vodcast

Latest Podcast

Advertise PTTU

NASA Picture of the Day

Astronomy Picture of the Day

astronomy_pod