Sunday, September 26, 2010

Eye Candy:Antennae Galaxy Collision Composite

Click image for full view(1280 x 1260 pixels)

This image of the Antennae galaxies, which is located between 45-62 million light-years from Earth and takes it's name from the long antennae-like arms visible in wide-angle views of the system, was created by combining images taken by the Chandra X-ray Observatory ( blue), the Hubble Space Telescope (gold and brown), and the Spitzer Space Telescope (red).

The galaxies in this image began their collision around 100million years ago. That collision resulted in the birth of millions of stars and left the merging systems in a constant state of star production. The most massive stars created by this merger have long since burned through their fuel and exploded leaving behind supernova and black holes, some potentially 100 times the size of the sun. Scientists estimate it will be as long as 400 million years before the system settles into a single elliptical galaxy.
For more information on this image visit Hubblesite

Image credit: NASA, ESA, SAO, CXC, JPL-Caltech, and STScI


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