Simulated images of merging galaxies

These illustrations demonstrate how two galaxies coalesce in a slow dance that lasts about a billion years.

The graphics are taken from a simulation astronomers created to determine how long it takes for galaxies to complete a merger. By understanding the time it takes for two merging systems to become one normal-looking galaxy, astronomers can calculate how many galaxy encounters happen over time. This information yields important clues about how galaxies have changed throughout the Universe's history.


 P. Jonsson (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, USA), G. Novak (Princeton University, USA), and T.J. Cox (Carnegie Observatories, Pasadena, Calif., USA)

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:27 October 2011, 17:19
Size:3600 x 2400 px

About the Object

Type:Unspecified : Galaxy : Type : Interacting

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.1 MB
Screensize JPEG
202.9 KB

Also see our

Accelerated by CDN77