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Published on Mar 8, 2018
This video pans over NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope observations of the system Arp 256, about 350 million light-years from Earth. The system consists of two spiral galaxies in an early stage of a merger. Though the two galaxies are still separated by a large distance, their shapes are already impressively disrupted by the gravitational forces.
Both galaxies show bright blue patches, which highlight regions of star formation. These regions also contain hot newborn stars. Like their distorted appearance, the bursts in star formation are also triggered by the gravitational interaction between the two galaxies.