Sunday, February 24, 2008

NGC 4676: When Mice Collide

Click on image to enlargeCredit: ACS Science & Engineering Team, Hubble Space Telescope, NASA

Explanation: These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as " The Mice" because they have such long tails, each spiral galaxy has likely already passed through the other. They will probably collide again and again until they coalesce. The long tails are created by the relative difference between gravitational pulls on the near and far parts of each galaxy. Because the distances are so large, the cosmic interaction takes place in slow motion -- over hundreds of millions of years. NGC 4676 lies about 300 million light-years away toward the constellation of Bernice's Hair (Coma Berenices) and are likely members of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies. The above picture was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys which is more sensitive and images a larger field than previous Hubble cameras. The camera's increased sensitivity has imaged, serendipitously, galaxies far in the distance scattered about the frame.

2 comments:

jonathan lane said...

Hey Star, just wanted to drop by and invite you to take part in my new blog (yeah, i finnaly have one).

Stardust said...

Hey jonathan...hi! Edward is really something, isn't he? If anything he will join Christians and atheists together! I will check out your blog.

It's good to know there are more Christians like yourself in the world than like Edward. He's a real tool!