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Interacting Galaxy 2MASX J09133888-1019196


2MASX J09133888-1019196 comprises two interacting galaxies that are both disturbed by gravitational interaction. The wide separation of the pair - approximately 130,000 light-years - suggests that the galaxies are just beginning to merge. Together the two galaxies form an ultra-luminous infrared system, which is unusual for the early stages of an interaction. One possible explanation is that the one or both of the components have already experienced a merger or interaction. Giant black holes lurk at the cores of both galaxies, which are found in the constellation of Hydra, the Sea Serpent, about 700 million light-years away from Earth.



This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.



Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

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