Galaxies Merging Created a Spectacular Cosmic Fountain

​Spectacular photography captured by the famed Hubble Space Telescope was recently published by NASA on its Instagram account. The image depicts a stream of stars that resemble a fountain, shaped by galaxies engaging with one another.

The subject of the recent image is Arp 194, which is located in the Cepheus constellation, approximately 600 million light-years away from Earth.

Arp 194’s Galaxies

As explained by NASA in the paragraphs accompanying the picture, Arp 194 is made of multiple galaxies engaging with one another. The top side of the gigantic structure depicts two galaxies that are at the moment in the process of merging with each other. The merger was most probably triggered by a clash between these two cosmic objects.

Located close to the right side of the galactic merger in the image is a spiral galaxy. ​Below this group, one can see another marge spiral galaxy, with the blue star-birthing areas of the galaxy visible in the Hubble’s picture.

Cosmic Fountain

Linking the two parts of Arp 194​ is a flow of cosmic material that looks like a fountain. As per the American space agency, this cosmic fountain is made of gigantic star clusters, each of which has its own stellar groups consisting of young stars.​ NASA believed that the entire fountain has millions of stars.

According to the agency, the formation resembling a stream measures about 100,000 light-years long. Besides the star formations, the structure also contains cosmic gas and dust.

Birthing A Stream Of Stars

NASA said that the stream of stars, dust, and gas was probably shaped by the engagement of the galaxies within Arp 194​. As the different galaxies combined and interacted with one another, the cosmic gas around them got compressed, causing an accelerated star-forming pace.

“These young star clusters probably formed as a result of the interactions between the galaxies in the northern component of Arp 194,” NASA explained in a statement. “The compression of gas involved in galaxy interactions can enhance the star-formation rate and give rise to brilliant bursts of star formation in merging systems.”​

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