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Merging galaxies

Merging galaxies

R826/0098

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Credit

NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Merging galaxies, Spitzer Space Telescope image. These galaxies are within a mysterious object, known as High Redshift Galaxy Cluster J2143-4423. The cluster is one of a number of objects termed 'giant galactic blobs'. The three galaxies inside (centre) are merging together and are surrounded by huge clouds of intensely glowing gas (red). Current hypotheses suggest that the energy from the merging galaxies is in some way transferring to make the gas glow, but the exact mechanism is still a mystery. The galaxies are 11 billion light years away.

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