Image Credit: Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT)

This is yet another incredible display of a gargantuan galaxy encounter, which happens when two separate galaxies collide and/or merge. Called NGC 772, or Arp 78, this object lurks more than 100 million light-years from Earth in the Aries constellation.

Though it looks much different from the Milky Way cosmetically, they have many similarities. Both span about 100,000 light-years across, with stunning spiral arms and a bright central core. However, NGC 772 has no bar, and its arms are tightly coiled, while it has one strange, misshapen arm that stick out like a sore thumb. It's believed that this oddity manifested following a gravitational encounter with another galaxy in view (seen above and to the right of NGC 772). Additional evidence of this can be seen in the form of a faint bridge connecting the two galaxies to each other, and to their companions.

Despite the fact that most galaxies that experience such encounters see a boom in star formation, NGC 772 is rare in the fact that there's a notable lack of star formation activity going on.. Other yellow-ish blobs of light are distant galaxies (around 13 in all), or foreground stars in the Milky Way, which are situated between Earth, the galaxy and its companions.

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