Now here’s something really scary for Halloween: Imagine two galaxies slamming into each other and creating a monstrous wraith with ghostly glowing eyes.
It’s not that far of a stretch. The Hubble Space Telescope captured just such an image, for a team of astronomers based at the University of Washington.
The visible-light picture, taken in June by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, shows a galactic smash-up that took place about 700 million light-years away in the constellation Microscopium. The cosmic collision is known as Arp-Madore 2026-424 or AM 2026-424, because it’s noted that way in the Arp-Madore Catalogue of Southern Peculiar Galaxies and Associations.