A new amazing photo taken by the Hubble Space Telescope depicts a pair of colliding spiral galaxies swirling one within the other. The two galaxies merging constitute a singular system called Arp 256 and located in the Cetus constellation, at approximately about 350 million light-years away from us.
The two galaxies will form a single galaxy, in the end
“The galaxies are ablaze with dazzling regions of star formation: The bright blue fireworks are stellar nurseries, churning out hot infant stars. These vigorous bursts of new life are triggered by the massive gravitational interactions, which stir up interstellar gas and dust out of which stars are born,” explained the ESA (European Space Agency) astronomers in the report regarding the discovery published on March 8th.
The recently photographed pair of galaxies are just at the beginning of their merge and will keep on coming and swirling one with the other for several million years from now.
According to ESA, the couple of galaxies will eventually form a single space object.
Milky Way will also collide with Andromeda in the far future
Galaxies mergings have been usually observed in the Universe and even the Milky Way, our galaxy, has merged with several other galaxies during its history.
Even more, in approximately 4 billion years from now, the Milky Way will collide and merge with the Andromeda Galaxy. However, such mergings are not hazardous since the distances between the stars are so big that would be practically impossible for two stars to collide.
The recently released Arp 256 photo is composed by combining the data collected by the Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and its Advanced Camera For Surveys.
The Hubble Space Telescope have offered very impressive photos such as the recent one of the two galaxies merging, distant galaxies, and other space objects and will most probably offer a few others until the James Webb Space Telescope will replace it in the near future.