Above is the picture of three galaxies – post collision. Stars have been ripped from these galaxies, forming a line between them and to the upper right and upper left. This is one of the images recently found on Galaxy Zoo. (Link to image) The thing that struck me about this image is the enormousness of the debris from this collision. The Milky Way galaxy (which we are a part of) is 100,000 light years in diameter. If these galaxies are the same size as our own galaxy, it means that some of these stars are at least 150,000 light years from the galaxies they were torn from.
Now, when young earth creationists try to explain the fact that we can see light from stars billions of light years away (meaning the light would have come from stars billions of years before the universe existed), they have their excuses: when God made the universe, He made the light in-transit so we could see what is actually there; or light traveled super-duper fast (i.e. as recently as a few thousand years ago, light traveled more than a million times faster than it does today).
But, when you look at an image like this, you start to wonder how long such a huge collision would take. If these galaxies are the size of our own Milky Way galaxy (which is an average sized galaxy), then even under the unrealistic assumption that these galaxies were traveling at the speed of light when they collided, and continued moving at the speed of light post-collision, then the time between collision and this image would be at least 150,000 years. For Young Earth Creationists, this means they have to believe God created these galaxies in a post-collision state. That’s right: even though they look like they actually collided, they were simply created in a post-collision state that mimics what they would have looked like if they had actually collided.
Update: Aug 6 2007: A four way galaxy collision was spotted. This one involving galaxies 5 billion light years away and galaxies at least as large as our own galaxy.