Cosmic Dawn: Three Galaxies Combine Into One In Dramatic Nasa Picture Of The Birth Of The Universe

Nasa has unveiled a spectacular picture of three small galaxies colliding nearly 13 billion years ago.

The picture shows a "big blob like structure" (Nasa's words), which is actually three small galaxies combining into one.

The image of the "exceedingly rare" triple system could bring new insights into how galaxies and stars form.

Nasa said the event took place just 800 million years after the Big Bang, but the light has only just reached Earth.

Using the Atacama Large Millimetre/submillimetre Array telescope in Chile, along with the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer space telescope, researchers were able to create a picture of the dramatic moment.

"This exceedingly rare triple system, seen when the universe was only 800 million years old, provides important insights into the earliest stages of galaxy formation during a period known as 'cosmic dawn,' when the universe was first bathed in starlight," said Richard Ellis of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, a member of the research team.

Take a look at the picture, above, and some of our other favourite space images below.

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