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January 29, 2015 10:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2015-04

Hubble Spies a Loopy Galaxy

January 29, 2015: At first glance, galaxy NGC 7714 resembles a partial golden ring from an amusement park ride. This unusual structure is a river of Sun-like stars that has been pulled deep into space by the gravitational tug of a bypassing galaxy (not seen in this Hubble Space Telescope photo). Though the universe is full of such colliding galaxies that are distorted in a gravitational taffy-pull, NGC 7714 is particularly striking for the seeming fluidity of the stars along a vast arc. The near-collision between the galaxies happened at least 100 million years ago.

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Credit: NASA and ESA

Acknowledgment: A. Gal-Yam (Weizmann Institute of Science)