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5 December 2013 11:26 am ,
Vol. 342 ,
Dyslexia, a learning disability that hinders reading, hasn't been associated with deficits in vision, hearing, or...
Exotic, elusive, and dangerous, snakes have fascinated humankind for millennia. They can be hard to find, yet their...
Researchers have sequenced and analyzed the first two snake genomes, which represent two evolutionary extremes. The...
Snake venoms are remarkably complex mixtures that can stun or kill prey within minutes. But more and more researchers...
At age 30, Dutch biologist Freek Vonk has built up a respectable career as a snake scientist. But in his home country,...
Since arriving on the island of Guam in the 1940s, the brown tree snake ( Boiga irregularis ) has extirpated native...
An animal rights group known as the Nonhuman Rights Project filed lawsuits in three New York courts this week in an...
Researchers have been hot on the trail of the elusive Denisovans, a type of ancient human known only by their DNA and...
- 5 December 2013 11:26 am , Vol. 342 , #6163
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ScienceShot: Cosmic Collision Is Just a Trick of the Eye
14 June 2012 2:55 pm
Is this what our Milky Way and the Andromeda galaxy will look like 4 billion years from now, when they slam into each other? Not quite. It may seem as if these two spiral galaxies are colliding—the eventual fate of our galaxy and Andromeda—but they're really separated by over 20 million light-years. This trick of perspective—one is closer to us than the other, but we see them in the same direction—caught by the Hubble Space Telescope and released today by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, is not just another nice cosmic image. It also provides astronomers with an opportunity to study the star-spawning dark dust lanes in the smaller foreground galaxy (NGC 3314A), because they are clearly silhouetted against the bright stellar background of the second galaxy (NGC 3314B). The slight asymmetry of NGC 3314A may be due to a past encounter with another, smaller galaxy outside the picture. Look closely, and you will also see dozens of tiny, faint background galaxies in the image, located at distances of billions of light-years from Earth.
See more ScienceShots.
*This item has been corrected. The two galaxies in the Hubble photograph were erroneously referred to as NGC 1334A and NGC 1334B. Their real catalogue numbers are NGC 3314A and NGC 3314B.