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Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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When Two Galaxies Collide

March 22, 2014, 11:00 AM
Bt_african_galaxy

This incredible image released by NASA looks as though it's a galaxy in the shape of the continent of Africa. "The African Galaxy." It is, in fact, two galaxies that have run into each other, creating millions of new stars.

NASA explains:

Two galaxies are squaring off in Corvus and here are the latest pictures. When two galaxies collide, the stars that compose them usually do not. That's because galaxies are mostly empty space and, however bright, stars only take up only a small amount of that space. During the slow, hundred million year collision, one galaxy can still rip the other apart gravitationally, and dust and gas common to both galaxies does collide. In this clash of the titans, dark dust pillars mark massive molecular clouds are being compressed during the galactic encounter, causing the rapid birth of millions of stars, some of which are gravitationally bound together in massive star clusters.

Image credit: NASA

 

When Two Galaxies Collide

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