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Hickson Compact Group 31

This composite image of Hickson Compact Group 31 shows four galaxies mixing it up. (The bright object in the center is a foreground star.)  The distorted object at the left is actually two colliding dwarf galaxies.  The cigar-shaped object above the galaxy duo is another member of the group. A bridge of star clusters connects the trio. A longer rope of blue star clusters points to the fourth member of the group at the right.  All four galaxies will eventually merge to form one elliptical galaxy. 

The image was composed from observations made by the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys, NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and the Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX).

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