A Tale of Galactic Collisions | Space Wallpaper

Ultraluminous Infrared Galaxy space wallpaper

About this Image

This intriguing space wallpaper shows the galaxy catalogued as 2MASX J05210136-2521450, which stands out at a glance due to its interesting shape. The object is an ultraluminous infrared galaxy, which emits a tremendous amount of light at infrared wavelengths. Scientists connect this to intense star formation activity, triggered by a collision between two interacting galaxies. The merging process has left its signs: 2MASX J05210136-2521450 presents a single, bright nucleus and a spectacular outer structure that consists of a one-sided extension of the inner arms, with a tidal tail heading in the opposite direction, formed from material ripped out from the merging galaxies by gravitational forces. This image was released May 6, 2013.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA Acknowledgement: Luca Limatola

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Space.com Staff
Space.com Staff,

Space.com is the premier source of space exploration, innovation and astronomy news, chronicling (and celebrating) humanity's ongoing expansion across the final frontier. We transport our visitors across the solar system and beyond through accessible, comprehensive coverage of the latest news and discoveries. For us, exploring space is as much about the journey as it is the destination. 

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