This Hubble composite shows 12 views of galaxies colliding, dramatically illustrating how galactic collisions produce a remarkable variety of intricate structures in never-before-seen detail. NASA
This new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image of the Antennae galaxies is the sharpest yet of this merging pair of galaxies. During the course of the collision, billions of stars will be formed. The brightest and most compact of these star birth regions are called super star clusters. The new image allows astronomers to better distinguish between the stars and super star clusters created in the collision of two spiral galaxies. ZUMA Press/Newscom
This Hubble Space Telescope image provides a detailed look at a brilliant collision between two galaxies. Hubble has uncovered over 1,000 bright, young star clusters bursting to life as a result of the head-on wreck. (Left) A ground-based telescopic view of the Antennae galaxies, formerly known as NGC4038/4093, with long tails of lumnious matter, formed by the gravitational tidal forces of their encounter. (Right) The respective cores of the twin galaxies are the orange blobs, left and right of the image center, crisscrossed by filaments of dark dust. Brad Whitmore/Newscom
In the direction of the constellation Canis Major, two spiral galaxies pass by each other like majestic ships in the night. The near-collision has been caught in images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and its Wide Field Planetary Camera 2. ZUMA Press/Newscom
This NASA image obtained on Feb. 15, shows a new image of a ring - not of jewels - but of black holes. This composite image of Arp 147, a pair of interacting galaxies located about 430 million light years from Earth, shows X-rays from the NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory (pink) and optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope (red, green, blue) produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute, or STScI. HO/AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
This NASA image obtained on Feb. 25, 2010 shows the galaxies of Hickson Compact Group 31 which are slowly merging and will pass through and destroy each other, millions of stars will form and explode, and thousands of nebula will form and dissipate before the dust settles and the final galaxy emerges about one billion years from now. AFP/NASA/ ESA/J. English (University Manitoba)/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/S. Gallagher (University Western Ontario)/Newscom
This composite image obtained Feb. 17, 2010 from the Chandra X-Ray Observatory of data from three different telescopes shows an ongoing collision between two galaxies, NGC 6872 and IC 4970. AFP/Getty Images/Newscom
This visualization released in April 2002 by NASA shows the Milky Way Galaxy and the neighboring Andromeda Galaxy crashing together. Fortunately, this is not expected to occur for billions of years, however.
This image released in 2000 by NASA shows a striking example of a galaxy collision in NGC 6745. A large spiral galaxy, with its nucleus still intact, peers at the smaller passing galaxy (nearly out of the field of view at lower right), while a bright blue beak and bright whitish-blue top feathers show the distinct path taken during the smaller galaxy's journey.
The most crowded collision of galaxy clusters has been identified by combining information from three different telescopes. This result gives scientists a chance to learn what happens when some of the largest objects in the universe go at each other in a cosmic free-for-all.
Chandra X-ray Observatory Center via CNP/Newscom
An undated artist impression shows combining observations done with ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope. The Southern European Astronomy Observatory were able to make visible the flow of matter concentrate, known as jet, flowing into a black hole. ESO/HO/Newscom
Where do stars form when galaxies collide? To help find out, astronomers imaged the nearby galaxy merger NGC 2623 in high resolution with the Hubble Space Telescope in 2007. Analysis indicates that two originally spiral galaxies appear now to be greatly convolved and that their cores have unified into one active galactic nucleus.
NASA/ESA/A. Evans (Stony Brook) et al.
This undated NASA image shows two galaxies that are slowly colliding and possibly, in hundreds of millions of years, only one galaxy will remain. Although it is likely that no stars in the two galaxies will directly collide, the gas, dust and ambient magnetic fields do interact directly. These galaxies, part of the vast Hydra-Centaurus supercluster of galaxies, spans over 100 thousand light-years across and is located about 100 million light-years away.
UPI Photo/NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage/Newscom
A cosmic bridge of stars, gas, and dust stretches for over 75,000 light-years and joins this peculiar pair of galaxies cataloged as Arp 87. The bridge is strong evidence that these two immense star systems have passed close to each other and experienced violent tides induced by mutual gravity. As further evidence, the face-on spiral galaxy on the right, also known as NGC 3808A, exhibits many young blue star clusters produced in a burst of star formation.
NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI / AURA)
The Advanced Camera for Surveys, the newest camera on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, has captured a pair of merging galaxies. Located 300 million light-years away in the constellation Coma Berenices, the colliding galaxies have been nicknamed 'The Mice' because of the long tails of stars and gas emanating from each galaxy. Otherwise known as NGC 4676, the pair will eventually merge into a single giant galaxy.