Rendezvous with Interacting Galaxies Arp 273

This image of rose-shaped galaxy pair Arp 273 was released in celebration of Hubble’s 21st anniversary. Curious what it might look like to a passing space traveler? This video takes you in close to the large spiral and its smaller companion galaxy.

Arp 273 lies in the constellation Andromeda and is roughly 300 million light-years away from Earth. It’s made up of a large spiral galaxy, known as UGC 1810, with a disk that is distorted into a rose-like shape by the gravitational pull of the companion galaxy below it, known as UGC 1813. A swath of blue, jewel-like points across the top is the combined light from clusters of intensely bright and hot young blue stars.

The smaller, nearly edge-on companion galaxy shows distinct signs of intense star formation at its nucleus, perhaps triggered by the encounter with the larger galaxy.

Find out more about this image on Hubblesite: