A beautiful photo captured by the Hubble Space Telescope was recently shared by NASA through one of its Instagram accounts. The image features a fountain-looking stream of stars that was formed by galaxies interacting with one another.

The subject of Hubble's photo has been identified as Arp 194. It is located in the Cepheus constellation and is about 600 million light-years away from Earth.

Arp 194's Galaxies

Arp 194
This interacting group contains several galaxies, along with a "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas, and dust that stretches over 100,000 light-years. NASA/STScI

As noted by NASA, Arp 194 is composed of multiple galaxies interacting with one another. The upper portion of the massive cosmic structure features two galaxies that are currently in the process of merging with one another. The merger was most likely caused by a collision between these two galaxies.

Located somewhere near the right side of the galactic merger is a spiral galaxy. Below this cluster is another marge spiral galaxy. The blue star-forming regions of this galaxy can be spotted in Hubble's photo.

Cosmic Fountain In Space

Connecting the upper and lower portion of Arp 194 is a stream of cosmic material that slightly resembles a fountain. According to NASA, this cosmic fountain contains massive star clusters, each of which has its own stellar cluster composed of young stars. NASA estimated that the entire cosmic fountain contains millions of stars.

According to the agency, the stream-like formation measures about 100,000 light-years long. Aside from star formations, this structure is also filled with cosmic gas and dust. As noted by NASA, the bluish colour of Arp 194's fountain is caused by the light emitted by the massive stars within each cluster.

Creating A Stream Of Stars

NASA explained that the stream of stars, dust and gas was most likely formed by the interaction of the galaxies within Arp 194. According to the agency, as the different galaxies merged and interacted with one another, the cosmic gas surrounding them got compressed, triggering an accelerated star-forming rate.

"These young star clusters probably formed as a result of the interactions between the galaxies in the northern component of Arp 194," NASA explained in a statement. "The compression of gas involved in galaxy interactions can enhance the star-formation rate and give rise to brilliant bursts of star formation in merging systems."

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#Hubble30 (2009) The Hubble Space Telescope photographed this peculiar system of galaxies known as Arp 194. This interacting group contains several galaxies, along with a "cosmic fountain" of stars, gas, and dust that stretches over 100,000 light-years. The upper component of Arp 194 appears as a haphazard collection of dusty spiral arms, bright blue star-forming regions, and at least two galaxy nuclei that appear to be connected and in the early stages of merging. A third, relatively normal, spiral galaxy appears off to the right. The lower component of the galaxy group contains a single large spiral galaxy with its own blue star-forming regions. However, the most striking feature of this galaxy group is the impressive blue stream of material extending from the northern component. This "fountain" contains complexes of super star clusters, each one of which may contain dozens of individual young star clusters. The blue color is produced by the hot, massive stars that dominate the light in each cluster. Overall, the "fountain" contains many millions of stars. These young star clusters probably formed as a result of the interactions between the galaxies in the northern component of Arp 194. The compression of gas involved in galaxy interactions can enhance the star-formation rate and give rise to brilliant bursts of star formation in merging systems. Hubble's resolution shows clearly that the stream of material lies in front of the southern component of Arp 194, as evidenced by the dust that is silhouetted around the star-cluster complexes. It is therefore not entirely clear whether the southern component actually interacts with the northern pair. This image was taken in celebration of Hubble's 19th anniversary in 2009. For more information, follow the link in our bio. Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

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