This image shows the two interacting calaxies NGC2207 and IC216 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 right. 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.
The image is a combination of luminosity taken with SBIG ST-7 and colour from an image taken with the ToUCam in 2006 (The colour image doesn't overlap the luminosity frame completely, so some of the stars near the edges show no colour).
OPTICS: 10" Newtonian f/5
MOUNT: Losmandy G11
EXPOSURE: L: 6x300s (SBIG ST-7), RGB: 68x60s (ToUCam Pro SC1)
DATE/TIME: L: 02/01/2012, RGB: 28/02/2006
LOCATION: My backyard observatory in west Auckland, New Zealand