NGC 2623 is
really two galaxies that are becoming one.
Seen to be in the final stages of a
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
galactic nucleus make
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.
Hubble Legacy Archive,