NGC 2207
NGC 2207 & IC 2163
Are these galaxies colliding or is it an optical illusion? The larger galaxy NGC 2207 and the smaller galaxy IC 2163 are only beginning to collide. Note the bent form of the arms in 2207 and the smaller arms being stretched in 2163. The larger galaxy has more mass and is stripping the smaller of material. It will essentially consume the smaller, however all material in both galaxy arms may begin to dissapear overtime as the galaxies start to resemble an elliptical galaxy rather than a spiral. Looking closely at IC2163, you can see one of the NGC 2207 arms crossing it. Our own galaxy and the Andromeda will undergo this same process 2-3 billion or so years in the future.
Optics: RC Optical System 20" F/8.2 (4165.6 mm Focal Length) Date: December 2008
Camera: SBIG ST10XME with Adaptive Optics Location: Columbus, Texas
Exposure: LRGB = 280:80:60:120 minutes Imager: Kent E. Biggs