Impossibly distant, impossibly huge, a fairy


Observatory images combine to depict galactic anthropomorphic delight.


650 million light-years away, Tinkerbell thrives.

650 million light-years away, Tinkerbell thrives.


ESO

Three galaxies collide to form a shape that astronomers have dubbed The Bird – although many prefer the name Tinkerbell.

The image is 10 years old now, a three-colour construction that combines different exposures taken by the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

The Bird – or the fairy – falls within the constellation of Sagittarius, and sits around 650 million light years from Earth.

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