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.
There’s never been a more important time to explain the facts, cherish evidence-based knowledge and to showcase the latest scientific, technological and engineering breakthroughs. Cosmos is published by The Royal Institution of Australia, a charity dedicated to connecting people with the world of science. Financial contributions, however big or small, help us provide access to trusted science information at a time when the world needs it most. Please support us by making a donation or purchasing a subscription today.