This Hubble Space Telescope image – released August 9, 2019 – shows a pair of galaxies known as UGC 2369. The two galaxies are interacting, which means that their mutual gravitational attraction is pulling them closer and closer together and distorting their shapes in the process. You can see a bridge of gas, dust and stars connecting the two galaxies, created when they pulled material out into space across the diminishing divide between them.
According to a description of the image from ESA:
Interaction with others is a common event in the history of most galaxies. For larger galaxies like the Milky Way, the majority of these interactions involve significantly smaller so-called dwarf galaxies. But every few billion years, a more momentous event can occur. For our home galaxy, the next big event will take place in about four billion years, when it will collide with its bigger neighbor, the Andromeda galaxy. Over time, the two galaxies will likely merge into one – already nicknamed Milkomeda.
Bottom line: Hubble image of interacting galaxies.
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