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Herschel
Space
Observatory

An
ESA
Mission
with
Participation
from
NASA

 

NASA
Herschel
Science
Center's
Portal
to
the
Cool
Universe

About the Video

Date
May 22, 2013
ID
nhsc2013-017v1
Type
Science
Credit
C. Hayward, Heidelberg Institute for Theoretical Studies, Germany

Mega Galaxy Merger

This simulation shows the merging of two massive galaxies, sped up to cover 1.5 billion years of time. The merging galaxies are split into two views: a visible-light view is on the left, in which blue shows young stars and red indicates older stars and dust. The view at right shows emission from dust, which is what infrared telescopes like the Herschel Space Observatory see. When the galaxies finally merge, the strong burst of star formation can be seen best in infrared views.
 
Herschel and a band of other telescopes teamed up to discover a massive galaxy collision that took place when the universe was 3 billion years old. The discovery helps explain how giant galaxies form.