NGC 2623 ( Galaxy )

image

NGC 2623 is really two galaxies that are
becoming one. Seen to be in the final stages
of a titanic galaxy merger, the pair lies some
300 million light-years distant toward the
constellation Cancer. The violent encounter
between two galaxies that may have been
similar to the Milky Way has produced
widespread star formation near a luminous
core and along eye-catching tidal tails. Filled
with dust, gas, and young blue star clusters,
the opposing tidal tails extend well over
50,000 light-years from the merged nucleus.
Likely triggered by the merger, accretion by a
supermassive black hole drives activity within
the nuclear region. The star formation and its
active galactic nucleus make NGC 2623 bright
across the spectrum. This sharp cosmic
snapshot of NGC 2623 (aka Arp 243) is based
on Hubble Legacy Archive image data that
also reveals even more distant background
galaxies scattered through the field of view.
(APOD)

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