Arp 194 comprises a group of galaxies of which at least two are in the process of merging. The merging galaxies, seen in the upper portion of the image, display two bright galactic cores that shine with the yellow light of aging stars. These galaxies have been greatly distorted by their mutual gravitational interaction as can be seen in the dusty, chaotic, spiral features. The smaller bright galaxy to the right of the merging pair is in the background and is not involved in the merger. Perhaps the most striking feature of the merger is the fountain of brilliant, newly formed, star clusters extending from the southern, or lower, portion of the merging galaxies. This string of star cluster seems to be connected to the large galaxy in the lower part of the image. This galaxy, however, is located behind the two merging galaxies. It is unclear if this galaxy actually contributed to the interaction of the merger.
The Arp 194 merger is taking place approximately 600 million light years distant and is located in the constellation of Ursa Major.
This image was assembled with data obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive. Three filtered images were used for the red, green and blue channels. These were imaged using filters of f815w for red, f555w for green and f450w for blue. A luminance channel was created by combining the three filtered images. The color image was created as a standard LRGB image.
1Based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, and obtained from the Hubble Legacy Archive, which is a collaboration between the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI/NASA), the Space Telescope European Coordinating Facility (ST-ECF/ESA) and the Canadian Astronomy Data Centre (CADC/NRC/CSA).