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Space

Astronomers Witness Whopper Galaxy Collision 227

Raver32 writes "A major cosmic pileup involving four large galaxies could give rise to one of the largest galaxies the universe has ever known, scientists say. Each of the four galaxies is at least the size of the Milky Way, and each is home to billions of stars. The galaxies will eventually merge into a single, colossal galaxy up to 10 times as massive as our own Milky Way. "When this merger is complete, this will be one of the biggest galaxies in the universe," said study team member Kenneth Rines of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. The finding, to be detailed in an upcoming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters, gives scientists their first real glimpse into a galaxy merger involving multiple big galaxies. "Most of the galaxy mergers we already knew about are like compact cars crashing together," Rines said. "What we have here is like four sand trucks smashing together, flinging sand everywhere.""

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