Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University), K. Noll (STScI), and J. Westphal (Caltech)
Like the Millenium Falcon blasting out of an exploding second Death Star, Arp 148 shows the stunning results of a galaxy smashup. The collision, shown in this image from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, produced a ring-shaped galaxy and a long-tailed companion. Astronomers believe that this is a unique view of a collision in progress. Shockwaves from the collision first drew material into the center and then caused it to fly out in a ring of new star formation.
Arp 148 is nicknamed “Mayall’s Object,” after astronomer Nicholas U. Mayall of the Lick Obseravatory. He first described the galaxy as a peculiar nebula shaped like a question mark. Arp 148 is located about 500 million light-years away toward the constellation of Ursa Major, the Great Bear, or the Big Dipper.