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NGC 4038

NGC 4038

R826/0102

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Credit

JOHN CHUMACK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN CHUMACK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

The strongly interacting galaxy pair NGC 4038/9 in Corvus, is best known as the Antennae Galaxy. NGC 4039 was a normal spiral galaxy when NGC 4038 crashed into it. The evolving wreckage, known as the Antennae, is pictured above. As gravity pulls each galaxy apart, clouds of gas slam into each other and bright knots are formed. These knots are large clusters of stars imbedded in vast regions of ionized hydrogen gas.

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