A galaxy on the run

A galactic collision leaves streamers of stars across the sky.

“Runaway galaxy” UGC 10214.
“Runaway galaxy” UGC 10214.
NASA / ESA / Holland Ford

Against a stunning backdrop of thousands of other galaxies, this odd-looking galaxy with the long streamer of stars appears to be racing through space, like a runaway pinwheel firework.

This picture of the galaxy UGC 10214 was taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Dubbed the 'Tadpole', this spiral galaxy is unlike the textbook images of stately galaxies. Its distorted shape was caused by a small interloper, a very blue, compact, galaxy visible in the upper left corner of the more massive Tadpole. The Tadpole resides about 420 million light-years away in the constellation Draco.

Curated content from the editorial staff at Cosmos Magazine.
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