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Published on Apr 22, 2011
This image of rose-shaped galaxy pair Arp 273 was released in celebration of Hubble's 21st anniversary. Curious what it might look like to a passing space traveler? This special 3-D video takes you in close to the large spiral and its smaller companion galaxy.
Arp 273 lies in the constellation Andromeda and is roughly 300 million light-years away from Earth. It's made up of a large spiral galaxy, known as UGC 1810, with a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue, jewel-like points across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars.
The smaller, nearly edge-on companion galaxy shows distinct signs of intense star formation at its nucleus, perhaps triggered by the encounter with the larger galaxy.