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NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captures galaxies in ‘cosmic collision’

The Hubble Space Telescope captured the aftermath of a collision between two galaxies, which resulted in a glittering triangle of cosmic dust and newborn stars. Exciting Right? Let’s explore more about it!

About Hubble Space Telescope Images

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope show a pair of overlapping galaxies known as NGC 3314. The two galaxies appear to collide, but the distance between them is actually ten times that of our Milky Way and the neighbouring Andromeda galaxy. As seen from Earth, the alignment of the two galaxies provides a unique view of the silhouetted spiral arms in the nearby face-on spiral, NGC 3314A.

The motions of the two galaxies show that they are both relatively undisturbed and moving in opposite directions. As a result, they are unlikely to collide. NGC 3312, NGC 3314A’s bent form is expected to be distorted as a result of an interaction with another galaxy (located outside the Hubble image).

Because of the alignment, the dust lanes in NGC 3314B appear lighter than those in NGC 3314A. The dazzling cloud of stars in the foreground, rather than being dust-free, has a whitening effect on the galaxy’s dust lanes. In contrast, the stars in NGC 3314B cast a shadow on the dust in NGC 3314A, creating a striking contrast.

Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys captured the blue and red light exposures used to create the colour composite. Liked this post? Don’t forget to check out our other short stories in our Quick Read section.

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