MCG+12-02-001 consists of a pair of galaxies visibly affected by gravitational interaction as material is flung out in opposite directions. A large galaxy can be seen in the upper half of the frame and a smaller galaxy resembling an erupting volcano is in the lower half. The bright core of this galaxy emerges from the summit of the "volcano".
MCG+12-02-001 is a luminous infrared system that radiates with more than a hundred thousand million times the luminosity of our Sun. It is located some 200 million light-years away from Earth toward the constellation of Cassiopeia, the Seated Queen.
This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on 24 April 2008.