Now this is what it's like when galaxies collide.
Or at the very least, this is what it looks like. The visual effects of the collision -- which generated an immense shock wave that produced a spiral plume of 6 million-degree hot gas -- were captured by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, visible here in purple. The European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope contributed to the image's impressive palate with optical observations revealing the galaxy in blue and white.
Such a shock wave, likened to a sonic boom, won't be felt anywhere near Earth, which is 60 million light-years away from the large spiral galaxy NGC 1232 that was rammed by a smaller, dwarf one. … Read more