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.

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile his neighbor, the patriarch of a 70-acre family farm

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

The 86-Year-Old Farmer Who Won't Quit

A filmmaker returns to his hometown to profile the patriarch of a family farm

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

More in Technology

Just In