Images by Date
Images by Category
Solar System
White Dwarfs
Neutron Stars
Black Holes
Milky Way Galaxy
Normal Galaxies
Galaxy Clusters
Cosmology/Deep Field
Images by Interest
Space Scoop for Kids
Sky Map
Photo Blog
Top Rated Images
Image Handouts
Fits Files
Image Tutorials
Photo Album Tutorial
False Color
Cosmic Distance
Look-Back Time
Scale & Distance
Angular Measurement
Images & Processing
Image Use Policy
Web Shortcuts
Chandra Blog
RSS Feed
Email Newsletter
News & Noteworthy
Image Use Policy
Questions & Answers
Glossary of Terms
Download Guide
Get Adobe Reader
More Images of CL0958+4702
Artist's Concept of Galactic Pileup
This artist's concept illustrates one of the largest smash-ups of galaxies ever observed. NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope spotted the four galaxies shown here (yellow blobs) in the process of tangling and ultimately merging into a single gargantuan galaxy. Though the galaxies appear to be fairly intact, gravitational disturbances have caused them to distort and twist, flinging stars (white dots) everywhere like sand. Other nearby galaxies can be seen as small, bluish blobs. The so-called "quadruple merger" is the largest known merger between galaxies of a similar size. While three of galaxies are about the size of our Milky Way, the fourth (center of image) is three times as big. All four of the galaxies are blob-shaped ellipticals instead of spirals like the Milky Way. The plume shown emanating from the biggest galaxy contains billions of stray stars -- almost three times as many as are in the Milky Way -- kicked out during the merger. About half of the stars in the plume will fall back and join the new galaxy, making it one of the biggest galaxies in the universe. The quadruple merger is part of a giant galaxy cluster, called CL0958+4702, located nearly five billion light-years away.
More Information
(Illustration: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

CL0958+4702 with Scale Bar

Return to CL0958+4702 (06 Aug 07)