Spiraling Twins

PureInsight | January 24, 2001

Strong tidal forces from NGC 2207 (left) have distorted the shape of IC 2163, flinging out stars and gas into long streamers stretching out 100,000 light-years. Calculations indicate that IC 2163 is swinging past NGC 2207, having made its closest approach 40 million years ago. However, IC 2163 does not have sufficient energy to escape from the gravitational pull of NGC 2207, and is destined to be pulled back and swing past the larger galaxy again in the future.


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