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Hubble Interacting Galaxy ESO 148-2
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Name: ESO 148-2, ESO 148-IG002, AM 2312-591
Description: Interacting Galaxies
Position (J2000): RA 23hr 15m 46.85s Dec -59° 03' 13.0"
Constellation: Tucana
Distance: 550 million light-years (200 million parsecs)
Instrument: ACS/WFC
Exposure Date(s): March 21, 2002
Exposure Time: 38 minutes
Filters: F435W (B) and F814W (I)
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble      Collaboration, & A. Evans (U of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook      University)
Release Date: April 24, 2008
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ESO 148-2 is a beautiful object that resembles an owl in flight. It consists of a pair of former disk galaxies undergoing a collision. The cores of the two individual galaxies - seen at the center of the image - are embedded in hot dust and contain a large number of stars. Two huge wings sweep out from the center and curve in opposite directions. These are tidal tails of stars and gas that have been pulled from the easily distorted disks of the galaxies. This cosmic owl is one of the most luminous infrared galaxies known and is located some 600 million light-years away from Earth.

This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on 24th April 2008