Hubble Spies a Galaxy Deformed and Rejuvenated by a Near Collision

Posted on Categories Discover Magazine

A cosmic hit-and-run some 30 million light-years away has left one galaxy with an identity crisis.

For billions of years, the now-irregular NGC 4485 lived a nice and normal life as a standard spiral galaxy located in the constellation Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs). Then, a few million years back, NGC 4485 experienced a near-miss when the equivalent of a galactic semi-truck (NGC 4490) careened past it, creating a gravitational wake that wreaked havoc for both parties.


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