The Antennae galaxies (NGC 4038-4039) are a merging pair of spiral galaxies. They started to interact a few hundred million years ago, making the Antennae galaxies one of the nearest and youngest examples of a pair of colliding galaxies. During the course of the collision, billions of stars will be formed. The brightest and most compact of these star birth regions are called super star clusters. Nearly half of the faint objects in the Antennae image are young clusters containing tens of thousands of stars. The orange blobs are the two cores of the original galaxies and consist mainly of old stars criss-crossed by filaments of dust. The two galaxies are dotted with brilliant blue star-forming regions surrounded by pink glowing hydrogen gas.
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Douglas Adams claimed that the title "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" came from a 1971 incident while he was hitchhiking around Europe as a young man with a copy of the Hitch-hiker's Guide to Europe book, and while lying drunk in a field near Innsbruck with a copy of the book and looking up at the stars, thought it would be a good idea for someone to write a hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy as well.