FromQuarkstoQuasars

Astronomy Photo of the Day: 9/28/14 — NGC 3314

Jaime TrosperSeptember 28th 2014
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA (Processing - Martin Pugh)
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA (Processing – Martin Pugh)

Galaxy collisions and mergers frequently occur all throughout the universe; both creating and reshaping the galaxies they touch in equal measure. With the structural integrity of a galaxy destroyed, new stars start to crop up like cosmic daisies, giving dying galaxies new life.

The galaxy above, called NGC 3314, is as strange as it is beautiful. A few hundred million years ago, two large spiral galaxies interacted gravitationally, causing them to line up almost perfectly — a move that explains this region’s unconventional appearance.

Also pictured here, among the glow of background stars, are the galaxy’s sprawling, spiral dust lanes, which are prevalent throughout and help contribute to the galaxy’s structure.

NGC 3314 can be found in the constellation of Hydra more than 140 million light-years from Earth.

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