A space telescope has snapped 21 colliding galaxies whose entangled hearts are smothered in crushed glass.
The star cities were pictured from orbit by Nasa’s Spitzer telescope and lie between 240million and 5.9billion light years away.
Astronomers believe the glass crystals were shed by massive stars before they blew themselves apart in supernova explosions.
It is the first time such crystals have been detected in a galaxy outside our own Milky Way.
Dr Henrik Spoon of Cornell University, New York, said: “We were surprised to find such delicate, little crystals in the centres of some of the most violent places in the universe.”
The discovery will help astronomers understand how galaxies evolve, including our Milky Way which will merge with the nearby Andromeda galaxy, M31, billions of years from now.
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