Galaxies on the verge of collision


As two galaxies draw close together, new stars are formed.


Two spiral galaxies, about 350 million light-years away, in an early stage of merging.
Two spiral galaxies, about 350 million light-years away, in an early stage of merging.
ESA/Hubble, NASA

This Hubble Space Telescope image shows Arp 256, a stunning system of two spiral galaxies, about 350 million light-years away, in an early stage of merging.

The two galaxies show strongly distorted shapes and an astonishing number of blue knots of star formation that look like exploding fireworks. The star formation was triggered by the close interaction between the two galaxies.

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