ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROYAL OBSERVATORY, EDINBURGH / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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Interacting galaxies. False-colour infrared image of the Antennae system, which comprises the two galaxies NGC 4038 and 4039. The image shows the two nuclei (red) and the nearby areas (yellow) where the interaction has triggered the formation of new stars. Infrared images may reveal the regions where new stars are born because infrared radiation penetrates the clouds of dust in which newborn stars are normally embedded. The Antennae system lies at a distance of about 50, 000 million light years from Earth.
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