Fig12_16 Colliding galaxies

Fig12_16 Colliding galaxies

Fig. 12.16 . Gravitational interaction of the antennae galaxies, catalogued as NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, produces long arms of young stars in their wakes. The colliding galaxies are located about 62 million light-years from Earth, and have been merging together for the last 800 million years. As the two galaxies continue to churn together, clouds of interstellar gas and dust are shocked and compressed, triggering the birth of new stars. This composite image is from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold and brown) and the Spitzer Space Telescope (red). The blue x-rays show huge clouds of hot, interstellar gas, the red data show infrared radiation from warm dust clouds that have been heated by newborn stars, and the gold and brown data reveal both star-forming regions and older stars. (Courtesy of NASA/ESA/SAO/CXC/JPL-Caltech/STScI.)

Copyright 2010, Professor Kenneth R. Lang, Tufts University