Hubble Telescope Reveals 'Cosmic Penguin' As Two Galaxies Collide In Space (PICTURES)

A dramatic picture of two galaxies colliding with each other in deep space has earned the nickname "the Cosmic Penguin".

Taken by the European Space Agency and Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope, the picture does indeed resemble the Antarctic bird.

But what it really shows is the progress of the spiral galaxy NGC 2936 as it slams into another galaxy - elliptical galaxy NFC 2937. Together the pair of galaxies are known as Arp 142.

Above: The bright area near the penguin is the second galaxy, which is tearing the 'penguin' apart.

"The eye of the penguin is all that remains of NGC 2936, once a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way," said Joe Liske, at the European Space Agency.

"When two galaxies collide, they can be rendered unrecognisable as vast clouds of gas and dust race towards each other, crashing forcefully and sparking bursts of star formation. Hubble has been able to capture some of these mergers, providing us with beautiful astronomical images and an insight into these turbulent events."

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