NGC 4676: When Mice Collide
June 12, 2004
These two mighty galaxies are pulling each other apart. Known as The Mice because they have such long tails, each spiral galaxy has likely already passed through the other. They will probably collide again and again until they coalesce. The long tails are created by the relative difference between gravitational pulls on the near and far parts of each galaxy. Because the distances are so large, the cosmic interaction takes place in slow motion -- over hundreds of millions of years. NGC 4676 lies about 300 million light-years away toward the constellation of Coma Berenices and are likely members of the Coma Cluster of Galaxies. The above picture was taken with the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys which is more sensitive and images a larger field than previous Hubble cameras.
Topics: Coma Berenices constellation, Peculiar galaxies, Spiral galaxies, Coma Cluster of Galaxies, Coma Cluster, Mice Galaxies, Interacting galaxies, NGC, Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, Galaxy