Rightfully named the Cartwheel Galaxy, this celestial object’s shape is a result of a violent galactic collision.
January 23 | 2018
A smaller galaxy has passed right through a large disk galaxy and produced shock waves that swept up gas and dust, much like ripples produced when a stone is dropped into a lake. Intense areas of star formation were sparked up, seen here in blue by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble). The outermost ring of the galaxy, which is 1.5 times the size of our Milky Way, marks the shock wave’s leading edge. This object is one of the most dramatic examples of the small class of ring galaxies. This image is based on earlier Hubble data of the Cartwheel Galaxy that was reprocessed in 2010, bringing out more detail in the image than seen before. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA