Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Astronomy Pic Of The Week | "Two Mice"

My favorite astronomy pic of late is of NGC 4676, commomly called "two mice" because of the long tails. I think they could have also called it "two sperm", but that wouldn't be quite as nice would it?
Extremely basic info: Two galaxies passing through each other, colliding, colliding and eventually merging.

"The long tails are created by the relative difference between gravitational pulls on the near and far parts of each galaxy. Because the distances are so large, the cosmic interaction takes place in slow motion -- over hundreds of millions of years. NGC 4676 lies about 300 million light-years away.."


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