NASA calls NGC 1614 a “peculiar galaxy.”
The brilliant cosmic object is the result of two merging galaxies. There are a number of wild things happening in this Hubble image, posted on Friday by NASA.
To the right upper right is a “tidal tail,” which forms when stars and gas are “stripped” from the outside arms of galaxies during a merger, according to Cosmos.
There’s a “burst” of radiant star formation in the center of the merger, notes NASA, as gases from the smaller galaxy stream into the larger galaxy.
The merged galaxy lies some 200 million light-years from our planet. But it’s a conspicuous sight, via a powerful telescope.
The galaxy’s chaotic history lends to its profound luminosity. It’s the second brightest galaxy within 250 million light-years of Earth, said NASA.