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 4490 is a barred spiral galaxy (center) that is in the early stages of merging with the smaller galaxy NGC 4485 (upper right). The gravitational pull between the two galaxies is triggering star formation in both galaxies, which can be seen as the bright red clouds of gas inside and between the two galaxies. The image was generated with observations in B (blue), V (cyan), I (orange) and H-alpha (red) filters. In this image, North is up, East is left.
T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOIRLab/NSF/AURA)