A Grazing Encounter between Two Spiral Galaxies
The Hubble telescope has caught a cosmic dance between two spiral galaxies. The larger galaxy, NGC 2207, is on the left; the smaller one, IC 2163, is on the right. Their dance has already caused quite a stir. Strong gravitational forces from NGC 2207 have distorted the shape of its smaller dance partner, flinging out stars and gas into long streamers that extend 100,000 light-years toward the right-hand edge of the picture. Eventually this dance will end. Billions of years from now the two galaxies will become one.