This image was obtained with the wide-field view of the Mosaic camera on the Mayall 4-meter telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory. NGC 3166 (lower right) and NGC 3169 (upper left) are two spiral galaxies trapped in a death spiral. As these two galaxies begin to merge, they are starting to be pulled apart. The faint wisps surrounding NGC 3169 are its outer spiral arms being pulled off. Eventually these two galaxies will merge to form a single galaxy. NGC 3165, the small galaxy below NGC 3166, is also a member of this group. The image was generated with observations in the B (blue), V (green), I (orange) and Hydrogen-Alpha (red) filters. This image is rotated clockwise 30 degrees from north is up, east is to the left.
T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOIRLab/NSF/AURA)