CFHT, Current Image of the Week


November 15th, 1999

The interacting galaxy systems NGC 2207/IC 2163

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The interacting galaxy systems NGC 2207/IC 2163
Credit: Image courtesy of Dr. Pierre Martin, CFHT.

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.

next week: The Binary Asteroid (45) Eugenia

editors: François Ménard & Jean-Charles Cuillandre
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CFHT is funded by the Governments of Canada and France, and by the University of Hawaii.