In this spectacular image captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the galaxy NGC 2799 (on the left) is seemingly being pulled into the center of the galaxy NGC 2798 (on the right).

Interacting galaxies, such as these, are so named because of the influence they have on each other, which may eventually result in a merger or a unique formation. Already, these two galaxies have seemingly formed a sideways waterspout, with stars from NGC 2799 appearing to fall into NGC 2798 almost like drops of water.

Galactic mergers can take place over several hundred million to over a billion years. While one might think the merger of two galaxies would be catastrophic for the stellar systems within, the sheer amount of space between stars means that stellar collisions are unlikely and stars typically drift past each other.

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, SDSS, J. Dalcanton; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

在NASA/ESA哈勃太空望远镜拍摄的这张壮观的照片中,星系NGC 2799(左)似乎被拉入了星系NGC 2798(右)的中心。

之所以如此称呼相互作用的星系,是因为它们相互之间具有影响,最终可能导致合并或形成独特的星系。 这两个星系似乎已经形成了侧向水龙卷,NGC 2799的恒星似乎像水滴一样落入NGC 2798。


图片来源:ESA/Hubble & NASA, SDSS, J. Dalcanton;致谢:朱迪·施密特(Geckzilla)

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