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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Hubble Space Telescope Provides Image of Collision Between Galaxies

November 21, 1996|From Times staff and wire reports

Images from the Hubble Space Telescope have provided astronomers with their first views of the galaxies that host quasars, intensely bright quasi-stellar objects thought to be powered by a black hole at their centers. Quasars are so bright that their light has overpowered the images of galaxies in previous photos.

The pictures reveal that quasars are found in a broad variety of galaxies, including stable spiral galaxies and galaxies in collision. The photo shows a collision between two galaxies traveling at 1 million mph. The debris is fueling a quasar that is 3 billion light-years from Earth. Astronomers believe that a galaxy lunged vertically through the plane of a spiral galaxy, ripping out its core and leaving the spiral ring at the bottom of the picture.

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