Gravitational Dance
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Gravitational Dance

August 1, 2006

In this image, the wide ultraviolet eyes of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer show spiral galaxy NGC 1512 sitting slightly northwest of elliptical galaxy NGC 1510.

The two galaxies are currently separated by a mere 68,000 light-years, leading many astronomers to suspect that a close encounter is currently in progress. The overlapping of two tightly wound spiral arm segments makes up the light blue inner ring of NGC 1512.

Meanwhile, the galaxy's outer spiral arm is being distorted by strong gravitational interactions with NGC 1510.

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