Collision between galaxies creates ‘cosmic triangle’ in new Hubble image

(ORDO NEWS) — A spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies resulted in this unusual triangular starburst seen in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image.

This pair of interacting galaxies is collectively referred to as Arp 143. The pair includes the highly distorted spiral galaxy NGC 2445, glittering with new stars, which we can see on the right side of the image, and its less bright galactic companion, NGC 2444, located on the left.

Astronomers believe these galaxies passed through each other, sparking a “firestorm” in galaxy NGC 2445 as thousands of new stars burst into flames against the black void of space. This burst of star formation can be seen on the right side of the image.

This galaxy flared up with so many new stars because it was rich in gas, which is the fuel for stars. However, it has not yet left the tenacious gravitational “embrace” of the partner galaxy NGC 2444, observed on the left side of the image.

The gravitational interaction of this galactic pair is like a tug of war in which the galaxy NGC 2444 comes out the winner. This galaxy pulled gas from the galaxy NGC 2445, forming this unusual triangle of new stars.

Galaxy NGC 2444 is also responsible for drawing long gas streams from its partner galaxy, which light up with bright young blue stars and form a bridge between galaxies.

These streams belong to the first wave of star formation, which began at the periphery of the galaxy NGC 2445 and began to spread inward.

The researchers estimate that the stars in these streams were formed between 50 and 100 million years ago. But these newborn stars are being left behind as NGC 2445 slowly drifts away from NGC 2444.

Stars no older than 1-2 million years are formed closer to the center of the galaxy NGC 2445. Hubble’s “sharp vision” allows you to see some individual stars.

They are the brightest and most massive in the galaxy. Many of the sparkling blue springs are clusters of stars. Pink spots are gigantic young clusters of stars, still surrounded by dust and gas.

Although the main action takes place in the galaxy NGC 2445, this does not mean that the other half of the interacting pair of galaxies has remained unchanged.

As a result of the gravitational “tug of war”, the galaxy NGC 2444 stretched out and acquired an unusual shape. The galaxy contains old stars, and there is no formation of new luminaries in it, since it has long lost its gas, long before this collision.


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