The two coolest galaxy pictures we've seen in agesS

The Whirlpool Galaxy crashes into its dwarf companion, NGC 5195, and the insane forces of the collision form the galaxy's distinctive spiral "arms" of stars. Note the bright pink, showing hydrogen. That's just one of two insane new galaxy pictures.

The image above comes from the German-Spanish Astronomical Center at Calar Alto, Spain, and the intense bright pink of the hydrogen in the image allows you to see the ionized hydrogen being generated as the colliding gases of the two galaxies form new stars, over on the left. It comes via National Geographic.

Here's our other favorite new galaxy picture:

The two coolest galaxy pictures we've seen in agesS

This is the Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) in the constellation of the same name. This new image from the ESO VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile includes both infrafred and visible light, allowing you to see the myriad of cooler stars as well as a bar of brighter stars across the galaxy's core. This Sculptor is a "starburst" galaxy, one in the throes of rapid star formation, and you can practically see it happening in this image. Download a higher res image at the ESO website. (via SpaceFellowship)