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When galaxies collide

By Prospect   June 2010

When galaxies collide there are rarely collisions between the stars themselves: galaxies are mostly empty space. But gravity pulls the stars into startling new configurations. The images on the top row are taken from computer simulations of a galactic collision, made by Chris Mihos of Case Western Reserve University and Lars Hernquist of Harvard. They have been matched up, below, with real observations made by the Hubble telescope. The video can be seen at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/328/5978/576/DC1

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