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This Galactic Collision, Captured By NASA’s Chandra X-Ray Observatory, Is Mesmerizing

18 Dec 2014, 2:22 pm

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(Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/S.Mineo et al, Optical: NASA/STScI, Infr)

Talk about spectacular, the above image is a small glimpse of the wild beauty contained within our gargantuan Universe. These two galaxies — dubbed NGC 2207 and IC 2163 by NASA scientists — interacting with a glancing blow, have been home to three supernovas in the last 15 years, according to NASA.

Additionally, they emit super-bright blue x-rays — known as ultraluminous X-ray sources. These unusual emissions have been documented by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory — a space telescope launched into orbit in 1999.

“This composite image of NGC 2207 and IC 2163 contains Chandra data in pink, optical light data from the Hubble Space Telescope in red, green, and blue (appearing as blue, white, orange, and brown), and infrared data from the Spitzer Space Telescope in red,” NASA said of the incredible image.

And when two galaxies collide, amazing stuff starts to happen.

“Colliding galaxies like this pair are well known to contain intense star formation. Shock waves – like the sonic booms from supersonic aircraft – form during the collision, leading to the collapse of clouds of gas and the formation of star clusters,” said NASA.

These two galaxies are part of the Canis Major constellation and are located about 130 millions light years from Earth.

Meteorologist Alan Raymond

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