The Hubble Space Telescope operated by NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) was able to photograph the aftermath of a violent collision between two galaxies. The incident created a massive cosmic object that resembles a ghostly face with a pair of menacing eyes.

The latest image captured by Hubble features the cosmic system known as Arp-Madore 2026-424, which is located about 704 million light-years from Earth. Formed by a violent collision, the system is characterized by the two bright galaxies at its center. These appear like a pair of glowing eyes floating in space.

According to NASA, the collision that occurred between the two galaxies was not head-on. Instead, the galaxies collided in such a way that the incident heavily affected their disks of stars and dust. The collision caused the disks to expand, forming a prominent outline around the two galaxies.

“Although galaxy collisions are common — especially back in the young universe — most of them are not head-on smashups, like the collision that likely created this Arp-Madore system,” NASA said in a statement.

“The violent encounter gives the system an arresting ‘ring’ structure for only a short amount of time, about 100 million years,” the agency added. “The crash pulled and stretched the galaxies' disks of gas, dust and stars outward. This action formed the ring of intense star formation that shapes the nose and face.”

Based on the image, NASA noted that the two galaxies involved in the cosmic crash are of the same size. Usually, collisions occur between a larger and a smaller galaxy, wherein the former devours the latter.

“The side-by-side juxtaposition of the two central bulges of stars from both galaxies also is unusual,” NASA stated. “Because the bulges that make the eyes appear to be the same size, it is evident that two galaxies of nearly equal proportions were involved in the crash, rather than more common collisions where small galaxies are gobbled up by their larger neighbors.”

According to NASA, the two galaxies will most likely merge within 1 to 2 billion years. Once this happens, the ring or outline around them will completely disappear.

Arp Madore 2026 424
In this new Hubble Space Telescope image, an uncanny pair of glowing eyes glares menacingly in our direction. The piercing "eyes" are the most prominent feature of what resembles the face of an otherworldly creature. NASA, ESA, and J. Dalcanton, B.F. Williams, and M. Durbin (University of Washington)