Embargoed Until: January 9, 2001 9:30 a.m.(PST)/12:30 p.m.(EST)

Intergalactic 'Pipeline' Funnels Matter Between Colliding Galaxies

This visible-light picture, taken by the Hubble telescope, reveals an intergalactic "pipeline" of material flowing between two battered galaxies that bumped into each other about 100 million years ago. The pipeline [the dark string of matter] begins in NGC 1410 [the galaxy at left], crosses over 20,000 light-years of intergalactic space, and wraps around NGC 1409 [the companion galaxy at right] like a ribbon around a package. The galaxies reside about 300 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Taurus.

Credits: NASA, William C. Keel (University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa)


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