This images shows the pair of two symmetric, almost face-on interacting
spiral galaxies, NGC 2207 (larger object) and IC 2163. A filter was used
to isolate the Halpha nebular line emitted from regions of star
formation across the disk of both objects. Even if the interaction is
weak (these galaxies are not merging), there is a long tidal tail
visible on the left coming from IC 2163. Both objects have a central
bar but of a very different nature. NGC 2207 has a short stellar bar
while IC 2163 shows a narrow, long barred structure with recent star
formation activity. This image was gathered to design slit masks used
for the spectroscopy of over 100 star formation regions. These data
were obtained for a study of the distribution of the chemical
composition in interacting galactic systems.
Technical description: This image was taken with the CFHT Multi-Object Spectrograph in February 1998. This is the result of one 15 minute exposure taken through a narrow-band filter centered on the Halpha emission line.