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Interacting Galaxy UGC 9618

UGC 9618, also known as VV 340 or Arp 302 consists of a pair of very gas-rich spiral galaxies in their early stages of interaction: VV 340A is seen edge-on to the left, and VV 340B face-on to the right. An enormous amount of infrared light is radiated by the gas from massive stars that are forming at a rate similar to the most vigorous giant star-forming regions in our own Milky Way. UGC 9618 is 450 million light-years away from Earth, and is the 302nd galaxy in Arp's Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies.

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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