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Galaxy NGC 6872 Interacting with Its Neighbor

Over 400,000 light years across NGC 6872 is an enormous spiral galaxy— at least 4 times the size of our own, very large Milky Way. About 200 million light-years distant, toward the southern constellation Pavo, the Peacock, the remarkable galaxy's stretched out shape is due to its ongoing gravitational interaction, likely leading to an eventual merger, with the nearby smaller galaxy IC 4970. IC 4970 is seen just below and right of the giant galaxy's core in this cosmic color portrait from the 8 meter Gemini South telescope in Chile.

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