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Colliding Galaxy Pair Takes Flight

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Colliding Galaxy Pair Arp 142 Takes Flight

This video begins with a view of the southern constellation Sextans and zooms into the peculiar galaxy Arp 142. A close-up look with the Hubble Space Telescope reveals that the object is really two interacting galaxies. A gravitationally distorted spiral galaxy resembles the profile of a hummingbird, while the companion elliptical galaxy resembles an egg. The blue galaxy once had a pinwheel shape, like that of our Milky Way. But the gravitational pull of the nearby companion galaxy has stretched it like a piece of taffy. A synthesized 3-D view shows the relative positions of the galaxies.

Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon, L. Frattare, Z. Levay, and F. Summers (Viz 3D Team, STScI)

Source: HubbleSite

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