Two Galaxies Caught On Collision Course
August 12, 2011 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
GREENBELT, Md., Aug. 12 (UPI) — U.S. astronomers have released a dramatic image of two galaxies heading for a collision about 450 million light years from Earth.
The image of the galaxies, in the constellation Bootes in the Northern Hemisphere, is a composition of optical data from the Hubble Space Telescope and X-ray data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory satellite, a NASA release said.
The distance across the approaching galaxies is about 285,000 light years, astronomers said.
Chandra data shows the upper galaxy in the image contains an obscured and rapidly growing supermassive black hole.
The two spiral galaxies will merge in a few million years, astronomers said, just like our Milky Way and its neighboring Andromeda galaxy will do billions of years from now.