Arp 274 is a pair of galaxies. Drawn together by their gravity, they are starting to interact. The spiral shapes of these galaxies are mostly intact, but evidence can be seen of the gravitational distortions they are creating within each other. When galaxies interact and merge together, the gas clouds inside them often form tremendous numbers of new stars.
More detailed images of Arp 274 (the winner) will be released soon. In the meantime, here’s another image of interacting galaxies (Arp 148).
Hubble image to be released between April 2 and 5
Come back to see the Hubble picture of Arp 274, released between April 2-5 during 100 Hours of Astronomy, a worldwide event focused on renewing interest in the night sky.