The Cartwheel Galaxy
A rare and spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies appears in this Hubble Space Telescope true-color image of the Cartwheel Galaxy, located 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. The new details of star birth resolved by Hubble provide an opportunity to study how extremely massive stars are born in large fragmented gas clouds.
Top Left Image
Hubble's detailed view shows the knot-like structure of the ring, produced by large clusters of new star formation. Hubble also resolves the effects of thousands of supernovae on the ring structure. One flurry of explosions blew a hole in the ring and formed a giant bubble of hot gas. Secondary star formation on the edge of this bubble appears as an arc extending beyond the ring.
Bottom Left Image
Hubble resolves remarkable new detail in the galaxy's core. The reddish color of this region indicates that it contains a tremendous amount of dust and embedded star formation. Bright pinpoints of light are gigantic young star clusters.