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Published on Aug 4, 2010
This new, composite image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, the Hubble Space Telescope, and the Spitzer Space Telescope shows two colliding galaxies more than a 100 million years after they first impacted each other. The continuing collision of the Antennae galaxies, located about 62 million light years from Earth, has triggered the formation of millions of stars in clouds of dusts and gas in the galaxies. The X-ray image from Chandra shows huge clouds of hot, interstellar gas that have been injected with rich deposits of elements from supernova explosions. This enriched gas, which includes elements such as oxygen, iron, magnesium and silicon, will one day be incorporated into new generations of stars and planets.