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Titanic galactic collision left a galaxy is twisted and distorted, Hubble reveals

The galaxy NGC 4485 are strongly distorted by a large neighbour, NGC 4490, from the frame to the bottom right in this image.

A new photo from the Hubble Space Telescope, shows the spectacular effects when two galaxies colliding with each other.

The recently released image from the Hubble telescope shows the galaxy NGC 4485, which is distorted and twisted for millions of years by a much larger galaxy in the neighborhood. According to a statement from the Hubble telescope, the image reveals the complex shapes formed by the force of gravity within the galaxy. The photo also shows the long streams of bright stars, gas, and dust torn from NGC 4485 of the nearby galaxy NGC 4490, which is not shown.

Both galaxies are about 30 million light-years from Earth, located in the northern constellation of Canes Venatici, the hunting dogs, in the neighborhood of the constellation of the Great Bear, Ursa Major. Together, the two galaxies form a pair known as Arp 269.

Related: When Galaxies Collide: Photos of Great Galactic crashes

The two galaxies are now moving away from each other after their closest approach — a meeting that made them connected with each other by a great stream of galactic material about 25,000 light years long, according to the statement.

The stream consists of knots and pockets of gas and cosmic dust, together with the bright star-forming regions where young, massive, blue stars are born.

Massive blue stars live fast and die young, ending their lives in dramatic explosions of nuclear fuel after a few million years. The debris of that explosion, in turn, reacts with the heavier elements in the gas and dust of the cosmic environment and gives birth to new generations of stars.

Hubble researchers said in a statement that the new picture shows two different regions around the affected galaxy; a, on the left, is the remains of the galaxy’s previous helical structure, which was once to evolve as a normal galaxy.

And on the right side of the image shows how the stars, gas, dust, and bright star-forming regions of NGC 4485 are ripped away by the gravity of the larger galactic neighbour.

The image provides further insight into the complex and mysterious field of the evolution of galaxies,” the researchers said in the statement.

The Hubble space telescope continues to produce spectacular images from the far reaches of space, although the observatory is already 29 years old and stood for only 10.

This last image is the second released by the Hubble telescope of this tortured galaxy; a photo of NGC 4485 released in 2014 showed the milky way in more limited wavelength of the light, and with much less detail.

Two additional filters were used for the making of the last picture; they are linked to the Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3, the most technologically advanced instrument on the space telescope, which is jointly operated by NASA and the European Space Agency.

  • What Happens When Galaxies Collide?
  • Galaxies: Collisions, Types and How They are Made
  • We Finally Know When Our Milky way Will Crash into Andromeda Galaxy

Original story on Space.com.

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