Astronomy Picture of the Week – Interacting Spiral Galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163

This near-collision has been caught in a photo by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. Two spiral galaxies pass by each other like majestic ships in the night. They are located in the direction of the constellation Canis Major. The larger and more massive galaxy is cataloged as NGC 2207 (on the left in the image), and the smaller one on the right is IC 2163. Strong tidal forces from NGC 2207 have distorted the shape of IC 2163, flinging out stars and gas into long streamers stretching out a hundred thousand light-years toward the right-hand edge of the image.

Interacting Spiral Galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)