We only have five billion years left until the Milky Way galaxy crashes into Andromeda, our nearest neighbor. What will happen to us then? Because galactic collisions take place over millions or billions of years, the process isn't well understood.
Sometimes galaxies don't just smash into each other — sometimes they just tear each other apart with their gravitational forces. Check out this new Hubble image of NGC 1911 in the Coma Cluster, being torn asunder by neighboring galaxies.
Stephan's Quintet sounds like the name of a nice jazz group, but this galactic cluster, discovered 250 years ago, is actually one galaxy passing through four others at nearly 2 million miles per hour. Hence the long tails. [Chandra Observatory]
See that cool pattern around this edge-on spiral galaxy, NGC 5907? The one that sort of looks like two halos? Those are the only remains of another galaxy, which NGC 5907 slaughtered in cold blood. (Or maybe cold dark matter?) We've shown you galaxies colliding before, but here's an arresting look at the aftermath of…