The antennas Galaxias Photos

The antennas Galaxias Photos

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Collisions between galaxies can be decisive in the creation of new planets. The Chandra X-ray Observatory has discovered rich deposits of neon, magnesium and silicon in a pair of collision galaxies called Las Antenas. The deposits are located in huge clouds of hot gas. When the clouds cool, scientists say, a lot of stars and planets should form. These results could predict the fate of our own Milky Way and its future collision with the Andromeda galaxy.

When galaxies collide, direct crashes between stars are very rare, but collisions between the huge gas clouds of the galaxies cause a stellar birth rate growth. Massive newborn stars evolve rapidly in a few million years and explode like supernovae. The heavy elements manufactured in these stars are expelled by the explosions and enrich the surrounding gas over thousands of light years.

At a distance of about 60 million years, the Las Antenas system is the closest example of a collision between two large galaxies. The collision, which began a couple of hundred million years ago, has been so violent that the gas and stars of the galaxies have been ejected into two long arches that give the system its name.

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