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024505

This false-colour image composite from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals hidden populations of new-born stars at the heart of the colliding 'Antennae' galaxies. These two galaxies, known individually as NGC 4038 and 4039, are located around 68 million light-years away and have been merging together for about the last 800 million years. The image is a composite of infrared data from Spitzer and visible-light data from Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz. Visible light from stars in the galaxies (blue and green) is shown together with infrared light from warm dust clouds heated by new-born stars (red). The two nuclei, or centres, of the merging galaxies show up as yellow-white areas, one above the other. The brightest clouds of forming stars lie in the overlap region between and left of the nuclei.

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024505.jpg
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Irish Photo Archive
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This false-colour image composite from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope reveals hidden populations of new-born stars at the heart of the colliding 'Antennae' galaxies. These two galaxies, known individually as NGC 4038 and 4039, are located around 68 million light-years away and have been merging together for about the last 800 million years. The image is a composite of infrared data from Spitzer and visible-light data from Kitt Peak National Observatory, Tucson, Ariz. Visible light from stars in the galaxies (blue and green) is shown together with infrared light from warm dust clouds heated by new-born stars (red). The two nuclei, or centres, of the merging galaxies show up as yellow-white areas, one above the other. The brightest clouds of forming stars lie in the overlap region between and left of the nuclei.