The two galaxies, NGC 2207 to the right and the smaller one, IC 2163 to the left, are being distorted by their mutual gravitational forces.
Particularly the shape of IC 2163 have been affected with long streamers of young blue stars and gas extending 100,000 light years towards the left. The cores of the galaxies will orbit each other for another billion years, causing massive star formation in the density waves of the system. Eventually, billions of years from now the two galaxies will merge into one massive elliptical.
OPTICS 10" Newtonian f/5.2
MOUNT Losmandy G11 equatorial
CAMERA Philips ToUCam Pro SC1 webcam
EXPOSURE 68 x 60s
DATE/TIME 28/02/2006 12:13 UTC
LOCATION My backyard observatory in west Auckland, New Zealand