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Hubble Showcase Spots Two Galaxies in Doomed (but Blinding) Dance



What appears to be a delicate dance between two galaxies is in fact a collision with the slow motion of colossal proportions in this photograph of the Hubble Space Telescope. The two galaxies, called UGC 2369, merge into one 424 million light-years from Earth.

(Image credit: ESA / Hubble / NASA / A. Evans)

Two galaxies are captured in a crazy space dance, pulling each other in a fresh image from an iconic space telescope.

Their mutual gravitational pull pulls galaxies closer and closer to each other in this view than the Hubble Space Telescope released on August 1

3th. The slow-motion collision in a galaxy, which scientists call UGC 2369, is about 424 million light-years away. (Light year is the distance that light travels in a year, approximately 6 trillion miles or 10 million kilometers)

The two collections of stars, gas and dust are so close together that a weak material bridge spans the intergalactic gap. This material came from a "shrinking divide" between the two galaxies, in a message to the European Space Agency .

Related: When galaxies collide: Pictures of major galactic catastrophes

"Interacting with other people is a common event in the history of most galaxies," the ESA said. "For larger galaxies such as the Milky Way, most of these interactions involve significantly smaller so-called dwarf galaxies. But a major event can happen every few billion years."

Our Milky Way for example, is inevitable collision with the neighboring hippopotamus galaxy – Andromeda. Individual star systems like ours are likely to be largely undisturbed, but distant observers will see that the two galaxies are gradually becoming one in several billion years. ESA is the name of this new unified Milcomed Galaxy.

Hubble has conquered galaxies all over the sky in its nearly 30 years of operations. Some of his most famous galactic images look back in time shortly after the Big Bang that formed our universe about 13.8 billion years ago. The last image of this type, Ultra Deep Field, was generated in 2016 .

Follow Elizabeth Howell on Twitter @howellspace . Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook .


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