Insight Into: Galaxy Collisions

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Gravity pulls galaxies toward each other and binds them into groups. Collisions are inevitable.

Colliding Galaxies
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach.
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA, ESA, and STScI except:
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
·       Large galaxy collision animation courtesy of NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center and the Advanced Visualization Laboratory at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, B. Robertson, L. Hernquist
·       Expanding universe animation courtesy of NASA
·       Andromeda Galaxy image courtesy of Digitized Sky Survey 2, acknowledgment: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble)
·       Animated pan through Milky Way courtesy of ESO/M. Kornmesser
·       Animation of stars moving courtesy of Frank Summers (STScI)
·       Animation of random stellar orbits courtesy of NCSA, UCLA/Keck
·       Milky Way formation animation ©Prof. Romain Teyssier (University of Zurich)
·       Major and minor galaxy merger animations ©Dr. Benjamin Moster (Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics)
·       Fly-around animation of Sagittarius Dwarf Galaxy courtesy of David Law (Dunlap Institute, University of Toronto)
·       Animation of two colliding spiral galaxies courtesy of Volker Springel, Max-Planck-Institute for Astrophysics
Written by Vanessa Thomas and John Stoke
Designed by John Godfrey and Marc Lussier
Music courtesy of Association Production Music


 A white, blue, and orange spiral galaxy. 

Text, A galaxy, containing billions of stars, floats serenely in space. 

A wider view shows that it is not alone. 

A second, smaller spiral galaxy is beside the first. 

Two orange spiral galaxies neighbor a white spiral galaxy. 

Text, Gravity pulls galaxies toward each other and binds them into groups. 

Collisions are inevitable. 

Here, two galaxies are engaged in a collision. 

A wisp of gas binds two galaxies together. 

Text, Eventually they'll merge to form one, much larger galaxy.