When Galaxies Collide, 280 Million Light Years Away

A new image using data from NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory captures Stephan's Quintet in a new light

Stephan's Quintent, Colliding
NASA

130 years ago, astronomers discovered Stephan's Quintent--a compact group of galaxies 280 million light years from Earth. NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has captured the X-rays generated by the interstellar collision, as one of the galaxies is sucked through the center of the group at 2 million miles per hour.

The ridge of blue in the center represent the X-rays emitted by the collision, as shock wave heats the galaxy's gasses.