Science Space Photo of the Day
When the lamp is shattered, The light in the dust lies dead. When the cloud is scattered, The rainbow's glory is shed. These words, which open Shelley’s poem "When the Lamp is Shattered," employ visions of nature to symbolize life in decay and rebirth. It's as if he had somehow foreseen the creation of this new Gemini Legacy image, and penned a caption for it. What Gemini has captured is nothing short of poetry in motion: the colorful and dramatic tale of a life-and-death struggle between two galaxies interacting. Polar-ring galaxies are peculiar objects. Models of how polar-ring galaxies form offer two general formation scenarios: 1) a piercing merger between two galaxies aligned roughly at right angles, or 2) when the host galaxy tidally strips material from a passing gas-rich spiral and strews it into a ring. Born of Violence NGC 660’s polar ring resolves into hundreds of objects, a considerable part of which are blue and red supergiant stars. Weighing the Evidence Life from Death?