NASA just performed a repair mission on Hubble, the telescope that acts as the peeping tom of the heavens – that really has nothing to do with this, but it is noteworthy, as I hear it’s the last mission regarding Hubble. A 3-galaxy system called Arp 194 has been seen by Hubble recently; the system looks as though one of the galaxies has “sprung a leak,” per se.
Apparently what is happening is that these galaxies are gravitationally pulling at each other, and the blue stram that you see between the two galaxies are newborn blue stars. There’s a lot of speculation as to what has disturbed the galaxy complex – scientists think that either a previous collision or close encounter might have rocked the boat, not to mention the gravitational forces at work.
Beautiful – I wish we understood more about them.
Thanks, Science Daily!