Pic of the Week: Space Triangle

Image (Credit): Space Triangle image from the Hubble Space Telescope. (NASA, ESA, STScI, Julianne Dalcanton with the Center for Computational Astrophysics/Flatiron Inst., UWashington)

This week’s image is from the Hubble Space Telescope. It shows the collision of spiral galaxy NGC 2445 on the right and NGC 2444 on the left, creating what appears to be a triangle of new stars. Here is a little more on the pair from NASA’s Hubblesite:

A spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies fueled the unusual triangular-shaped star-birthing frenzy, as captured in a new image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope…

Astronomers suggest that the galaxies passed through each other, igniting the uniquely shaped star-formation firestorm in NGC 2445, where thousands of stars are bursting to life on the right-hand side of the image. This galaxy is awash in starbirth because it is rich in gas, the fuel that makes stars. However, it hasn’t yet escaped the gravitational clutches of its partner NGC 2444, shown on the left side of the image. The pair is waging a cosmic tug-of-war, which NGC 2444 appears to be winning. The galaxy has pulled gas from NGC 2445, forming the oddball triangle of newly minted stars.