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Galaxies collide or align?

By Amanda Shore

The Hubble Telescope captured a phenomenal image of what appears to be two galaxies colliding. This turns out not to be the case. The two galaxies, called NGC 3314, are actually aligning about tens of millions of light-years apart from one another and 140 million light-years from Earth.

Concern arose that the galaxies might collide in the future, but further study showed that there is no danger of that. While it originally appeared that the galaxies were moving in unison, they are actually traveling in completely different directions.

In this stunning photgraph, the closer galaxy, NGC 3314-A, appears darker than the further one, NGC 3314-B, because it is backlit by the stars in the further galaxy. I look forward to future images that the Hubble telescope, launched in April 1990 with the mission to explore and report back images of the universe, sends back to Earth.

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