FromQuarkstoQuasars

Astronomy Picture of the Day: 4/17/13 – NGC 3256

Jaime TrosperApril 17th 2013
Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI / AURA) - ESA/Hubble Collaboration, & A. Evans (UVa, NRAO, SUNYSB)
Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI / AURA) – ESA/Hubble Collaboration, & A. Evans (UVa, NRAO, SUNYSB)

In yet another image of colliding galaxies, we witness the individual destruction of the underlying structure of each galaxy, which paves the way for both to transform into a larger, elliptical galaxy.

This particular one is NGC 3256, which lies more than 100 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Vela. The galaxy itself is a member of the Hydra-Centaurus supercluster complex, which spans more than 100 thousand light-years across (roughly the same diameter of our home galaxy of the Milky Way).

Here, the intricate filaments composed of dark interstellar dust can be seen, along with the tidal tails comprised of other interstellar materials, from which new stars will arise.

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