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Interacting Galaxy II Zw 96


This is a system of merging galaxies with a bizarre shape. Powerful young starburst regions hang as long threadlike structures between the main galaxy cores. The system almost qualifies as an ultra-luminous system, but has not yet reached the late stage of coalescence that is the norm for most ultra-luminous systems. II Zw 96 is located in the constellation of Delphinus, the Dolphin, about 500 million light-years away from Earth.



This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope.



Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)

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