Using its Advanced Camera for Surveys and Wide Field Camera 3, NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captured a group of three galaxies called NGC 7764A. The NGC 7764A are located around 425 million light-years away from Earth in the Phoenix constellation.
Two galaxies appearing on the upper right of the image look like they are interacting with one another, producing long trails of stars and gas, giving the impression that they had both just been struck at great speed.
The third galaxy in the group appears in the lower left of the image. It remains unclear whether this galaxy is interacting with the other two. Their proximity in space suggests the possibility that they are.
Interacting galaxies are quite rare. Such events happen over very long periods, and galaxies rarely collide head-on with one another.
NASA stated in its blog, “The collective interaction between these galaxies has caused the two on the upper right to form a shape, which from our solar system’s perspective, resembles the starship known as the USS Enterprise from Star Trek!”
The three galaxies are individually referred to as NGC 7764A1, NGC 7764A2, and NGC 7764A3.