A galactic mess
Recorded in astronomer Halton Arp’s Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies as Arp 272,
this pair of colliding galaxies consists of the two spiral galaxies otherwise knows as NGC 6050 and IC 1179.
A third galaxy, likely also a member of the interacting system, can be spotted too.
They lie some 450 million light-years away in the Hercules Galaxy Cluster. Galaxy collisions and their eventual mergers are common, with Arp 272 representing a stage in this inevitable process.
K. Noll, Martin Pugh