You have to sit back and look at a gorgeous view of a galaxy interaction.

When these giant space cities are merged, there will be wild and crazy things. For example, take this pair. They are locked together in a dance that has lasted for half a billion years.

They change each other on the dance floor. They will combine to make a giant galaxy.

The larger of the two galaxies is called NGC 1512 As the interaction plays out, it looks like a barred spiral. A dwarf lenticular galaxy is to its lower right.

They are about 60 million light-years away from us, in the direction of the constellation Horologium.

The view of the pair's galaxy interaction was captured by the Victor M. Blanco 4-meter telescope.

What Happens in a Galaxy Merger?

Galaxies are far apart in space, but they interact with each other. The dances they do are how they grow. Our own Milky Way is included.

The larger population of the Milky Way is being added to by some smaller dwarf galaxies.

During the merger process, there are examples of what happens.

Waves of star formation were spurred by their attraction to each other. Astronomers call it a starburst, and it created long blue strings of hot young stars.

bouts of star formation can be spurred by galaxy mergers. Someday, these massive stars will explode as supernovae and add a bit of fireworks to the long galactic dance.

Gas, dust, and stars have been pulled away from its larger neighbor by the smaller gravitational pull. It looks like the spiral arms on the neighbor are unwound.

The small companion is affected by NGC 1510 by pulling tendrils of gas and dust away. The shapes of both galaxies are being distorted by the interaction. As time goes by, things will only get worse for them.

They will form a giant galaxy, probably an elliptical one, by merging completely with each other. That is far off in the future.

Capturing the View

The Dark Energy Camera (DECam) is mounted on the Blanco Telescope and captures a larger image. The Dark Energy Survey built the DECam. It is a project to map hundreds of millions of galaxies.

The idea is to look for patterns in the structure of the universe that give clues to the nature of dark energy.

Six years was the length of the survey. 300 million galaxies were recorded by the DECam over 5,000 square degrees of the southern skies.

We can appreciate the survey's detailed images of galaxies like this one and the results of such a fantastic interaction between the stars.

You can see more distant galaxies forming a backdrop to the two interacting ones if you look closely.

The Dark Energy Survey is part of the DOE.

The NOIRlab includes the Victor C. Blanco facility. The collection of observatories include the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory, the Community Science and Data Center, the Kitt Peak National Observatory, and the Vera C. Rubin Observatory. The lab is funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation.

The article was published by Universe Today. The original article is worth a read.