VV 340

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Chandra X-ray
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VV 340: A pair of galaxies located about 450 million light years from Earth.
(Credit: X-ray NASA/CXC/IfA/D.Sanders et al; Optical NASA/STScI/NRAO/A.Evans et al)

Caption: This composite image of VV 340 contains X-ray data from Chandra (purple) and optical data from Hubble (red, green, blue). The two galaxies shown here are in the early stage of an interaction that will eventually lead to them merging in millions of years. The Chandra data shows that the northern galaxy contains a rapidly growing supermassive black hole that is heavily obscured by dust and gas. Data from other wavelengths shows that the two interacting galaxies are evolving at different rates.

Scale: Image is 2.2 arcmin across (about 285,000 light years)

Chandra X-ray Observatory ACIS Image

CXC operated for NASA by the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory