Galaxies don't normally look like this.
NGC 6745 actually shows the results of
two galaxies that have been
colliding for only
hundreds of millions of years.
Just off the
above photograph to the lower right is the smaller galaxy,
The larger galaxy,
pictured above, used to be a
but now is damaged and appears
Gravity has distorted the shapes of the galaxies.
Although it is likely that no stars in the two
galaxies directly collided, the gas,
dust, and ambient
magnetic fields do interact directly.
In fact, a knot of gas pulled off the larger galaxy
on the lower right has now begun to form stars.
spans about 80 thousand light-years across and is located about 200 million