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Interacting galaxies

Interacting galaxies

R826/0071

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Credit

CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CELESTIAL IMAGE CO. / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Antennae interacting galaxies. Optical image of the interacting galaxies NGC 4038 (upper) and NGC 4039 (lower). This system (Arp 244) is known as the Antennae due to the long trails of gas and stars seen extending to lower right and upper left. The collision has caused massive areas of star formation in the nuclei (pink/white) of the two galaxies. This collision is thought to have started around 700 million years ago. The system lies some 50 million light years from Earth in the constellation Corvus.

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