The Antennae Galaxies
, also known as NGC 4038
, are a pair of interacting galaxies
in the constellation Corvus
. They are currently going through a starburst
phase, in which the collision of clouds of gas and dust, with entangled magnetic fields, causes rapid star formation. They were discovered by William Herschel
in 1785. These two spiral galaxies, drawn together by gravity, started to interact a few hundred million years ago. The Antennae Galaxies are the nearest and youngest examples of a pair of colliding galaxies.
Assembled from Hubble Legacy Archive data 3-28-2016