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Space cataclysm: NASA spots galaxies crashing into one another – and so will Milky Way

“The cosmic collision also drives a turbulent flow of interstellar gas from the smaller of the two galaxies involved into the nucleus of the larger one, resulting in a burst of star formation that started in the core and has slowly spread outward through the galaxy.

“Owing to its turbulent past and its current appearance, astronomers classify NGC 1614 as a peculiar galaxy, a starburst galaxy, and a luminous infrared galaxy.

“Luminous infrared galaxies are among the most luminous objects in the local universe — and NGC 1614 is, in fact, the second most luminous galaxy within 250 million light-years.

A similar fate could one day meet the Milky Way galaxy when it collides with the Andromeda galaxy.

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