Image of the Day: The X-ray bruise of colliding galaxies

Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Huntingdon Inst. for X-ray Astronomy/G.Garmire, Optical: ESO/VLT

This image is a combination between an X-ray image from the Chandra X-ray observatory, and a visible spectrum image from the ESO's Very Large Telescope in Chile. That purple splotch is a giant cloud of superheated (six million degree) gas that's only visible in X-rays. Astronomers think that it's the remains of a collision between the big spiral galaxy in the background and a much smaller dwarf galaxy. That bright X-ray dot on the lower right is a region of active star formation, possibly caused by the shockwave from the collision itself.

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Via Chandra

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