News Release Archive:

News Release 77 of 137

February 4, 2004 09:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-2004-45

New Hubble Study Reveals How Black Holes Get Their Kicks


Image: Interacting Spiral Galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163

Interacting Spiral Galaxies NGC 2207 and IC 2163STScI-PRC2004-45

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In the direction of the constellation Canis Major, two spiral galaxies pass by each other like majestic ships in the night. The near-collision has been caught in images taken by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and its Wide Field Planetary Camera 2.

The larger and more massive galaxy is cataloged as NGC 2207 (on the left in the Hubble Heritage 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.

Image Type: Astronomical

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)