Friday, December 12, 2014

NGC 2207 and IC 2163

NGC 2207: NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are two spiral galaxies in the process of merging.

X-ray data from Chandra have revealed that NGC 2207 and IC 2163, currently in the process of colliding with one another, have produced one of the most bountiful collections of super bright X-ray lights called "ultraluminous X-ray sources" (ULXs). The true nature of ULXs is still debated, but they are likely a peculiar type of X-ray binary. In this composite image, X-ray data from Chandra are pink, optical light data from Hubble are red, green, and blue (appearing as blue, white, orange and brown), and infrared data from Spitzer are in red.

Scale: Image is 5 arcmin across (about 180,000 light years).

Image credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/SAO/S.Mineo et al, Optical: NASA/STScI, Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Note: For more information, see NGC 2207 and IC 2163: Galactic Get-Together has Impressive Light Display, PIA18903: Galactic Gathering Gives Impressive Light Display, and Galactic Gathering Gives Sparkling Light Display.

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