23 October 2020
In this spectacular image captured by NASA / ESA's Hubble Space Telescope, the galaxy NGC 2799 (left) appears to be pulled into the center of the galaxy NGC 2798 (right).
Such interacting galaxies are so named because of their mutual influence, which can eventually lead to a fusion or a unique formation. These two galaxies have already formed a lateral gargoyle, with stars from NGC 2799 appearing to fall almost like drops of water into NGC 2798.
Galactic fusions can take place over several hundred million to over a billion years. While one might think that the merger of two galaxies would be catastrophic for the star systems inside, the sheer space between stars means that star collisions are unlikely and stars typically pass each other.
Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Photo credit: ESA / Hubble & NASA, SDSS, J. Dalcanton; Credit: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)
Last updated: October 23, 2020 Editor: Lynn Jenner
October 25, 2020 in space. Tags: Galaxies, Goddard Space Flight Center, Hubble Space Telescope