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Published on Aug 29, 2012
This simulation shows two galaxies in a billion year tango of epic proportions.
From NASA: This simulation, which represents a few billion years of evolution, shows two disk galaxies interacting in a graceful gravitational dance. The color represents the temperature of the gas in the galaxies. The simulation shows how gravity can rearrange the gas and stars in galaxies during these interaction events, fueling the supermassive black holes at the centers of each galaxy. Radiation from the energized black holes can heat up the gas and blow it away, causing the outbursts seen in the animation. NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) is discovering some of the most active, powerful galaxies known, which in some cases may have been fueled by such mergers. Video courtesy Volker Springel, Heidelberg University, Germany.