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NASA shares incredible picture of two spiral galaxies pulling each other apart; The galaxies are known as The Mice, because of their long tails.

Byline: Sophie Curtis

NASA has shared an incredible picture of two huge galaxies pulling each other apart.

Known as "The Mice" because of their long tails, the two large spiral galaxies are located about 300 million light-years away, toward the constellation of Bernice's Hair.

They are likely members of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies, which is one of the densest clusters known, containing thousands of galaxies.

Their long tails are drawn out by strong gravitational tides as the two galaxies pass through one another, according to NASA.

The distances are so large that the cosmic interaction takes place in slow motion, over hundreds of millions of years.

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The image was captured by astrophotographer Bruce Waddington over six nights in May 2019, using the SkyPi Remote Observatory in New Mexico.

Not often imaged in small telescopes, Waddington used a wide field of view to catch the faint tidal tails, which are several hundred thousand light-years long.

"They will probably collide again and again over the next billion years until they coalesce to form a single galaxy," he wrote for NASA'sAstronomy Picture of the Day.

Last month, NASA shares a stunning picture of an iconic spiral galaxy, captured by the Hubble Space Telescope.

"Few of the universe's residents are as iconic as the spiral galaxy," said the European Space Agency.

"These limelight-hogging celestial objects combine whirling, pinwheeling arms with scatterings of sparkling stars, glowing bursts of gas, and dark, weaving lanes of cosmic dust."

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Credit: Bruce Waddington

Credit: Bruce Waddington

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Title Annotation:Science
Publication:Daily Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 14, 2019
Words:261
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