Photo captures two galaxies colliding
NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are a pair of colliding spiral galaxies about 80 million light-years away in 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.
NGC 2207 and IC 2163 have hosted three supernova explosions in the past 15 years and have produced one of the most bountiful collections of super-bright X-ray lights known. The two galaxies are forming the equivalent of 24 new suns every year, compared to one to three suns per year in the Milky Way.
In about a billion years time they are expected to merge and become an elliptical galaxy or perhaps a disk galaxy.