Picture of the Day: Arp 302 or VV 340, Two Colliding Galaxies

579141main_vv340_1920_full.jpg

NASA calls it the cosmic exclamation point because its glowing structure resembles that of the punctuation mark. Scientists know it, mostly, as VV 340 or Arp 302. Shown in this composite image with optical information provided by the Hubble Space Telescope (red, blue and green) and data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory (purple), VV 340 is actually made up of VV 340 North and VV 340 South, two colliding galaxies in the process of spinning into one another. Astronomers suspect that the two will merge million of years from now and they watch with fascination as they believe VV 340 provides a textbook example, one that will serve as a blueprint for how our own Milky Way will collide with Andromeda billions of years from now. VV 340 sits about 450 million light years away from us here on Earth.

View more Pictures of the Day.

Image: NASA.

Presented by

Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Technology

Just In