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Celestial firework marks nearest galaxy collision

16 August 2015 Astronomy Now

A spectacular galaxy collision has been discovered lurking behind the Milky Way, the closest such system ever found. “Kathryn’s Wheel” was found during a special wide field survey of the Southern Milky Way with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia. Such systems are very rare and arise from “bull’s-eye” collisions between two galaxies of similar mass.