The Hubble space telescope captures a galactic waterfall

The stars of NGC 2799, on the left in the photo, appear to fall into the neighboring galaxy, like raindrops

In this spectacular image captured by the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the galaxy NGC 2799 (on the left) is apparently being pushed towards the center of the galaxy NGC 2798 (on the right).

Interacting galaxies like these are so named because of the influence they have on each other, which can eventually result in a merger or a single formation. These two galaxies have apparently already formed a lateral waterspout, with stars from NGC 2799 appearing to fall into NGC 2798 almost like drops of water.

Galactic mergers can take place over several hundred million to more than a billion years.

While one might think that the merger of two galaxies would be catastrophic for the star systems within them, the large amount of space between the stars means that stellar collisions are unlikely and the stars typically move relative to each other.

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