The smiling Cheshire Cat will stop laughing in a few 100 million years

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This group of galaxies looks like a smiling Cheshire Cat with X-rays (violet).

But the Cat will stop laughing as its “eyes” will collide in less than a billion years.

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This group of galaxies looks like a smalling cat. Photo: Optical image from from NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope and x-ray images from Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

The Cheshire Cat is a relatively poor group of galaxies dominated by two luminous elliptical galaxies (the two giant ‘cat’s eyes’) and a smaller round galaxy (the ‘cat’s nose’). The multiple arcs making up the circular ‘cat’s face’ arise from gravitational lensing of four different background galaxies.

The Cheshire Cat’s will however lose its “grin” as a new study says the two “eye” galaxies will slam into one another in a giant galactic collision.

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