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A Close Encounter
A Close Encounter

An encounter between these two spiral galaxies, called Arp 273, has created twisted shapes, stretched spiral arms, and regions of intense star formation. The larger galaxy has been distorted into the shape of a rose by the gravitational pull of the smaller companion galaxy. Along the stretched spiral arms are clusters of hot, young, blue stars. A flurry of star formation also can be seen in the core of the companion galaxy. Arp 273 lies in the constellation Andromeda.

This dramatic image celebrates the 21st anniversary of Hubble's launch and deployment into orbit around Earth.

The interaction was imaged on December 17, 2010, with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3).

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Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)