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This speed is most likely too fast for them to merge and form a single galaxy. However, because of their small separation of only about 20,000 light-years, the galaxies will distort one another through the force of gravity while passing each other, changing their structures on a grand scale. Such galactic interactions are a common sight for Hubble, and have long been a field of study for astronomers. The intriguing behaviors of interacting galaxies take many forms; galactic cannibalism, galaxy harassment and even galaxy collisions. The Milky Way itself will eventually fall victim to the latter, merging with the Andromeda Galaxy in about 4.5 billion years. The fate of our galaxy shouldn’t be alarming though: while galaxies are populated by billions of stars, the distances between individual stars are so large that hardly any stellar collisions will occur. Credit: ESA/NASA
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What do you think this tadpole-shaped impact crater says about the water that used to fill it? Based on the terrain-height information and knowing that water always flows downhill, scientists were able to infer that the water in the tadpole crater was flowing down, and outward. The image was taken by the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera on our Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Univ. of Arizona #nasa #space mars
A single, tiny one appeared on Jan. 31, but even that is hard to see in this rotating view from our Solar Dynamics Observatory. The video shows a rotating sun in filtered light for the past week, but it is even hard to tell the sun is rotating since there are just about no features. This spotless period is a prelude to the approaching period of solar minimum next year, when the Sun’s activity will be at the low end of its 11-year cycle. Credit: NASA/SDO