What goes on here?
This to me is a strange beast. First is the obvious tidal tail and also the other arm at 1 o'clock seems somewhat disturbed. there is a small diffuse looking galaxy (an elliptical?) at 11 o'clock, but it seems rather small to account for the disruptions. The major "anomaly" for me is the nucleus. In the DR8 photos the nucleus is very dominate and is a brilliant blue/white color that you would not expect of a spiral galaxy nucleus. I also find it interesting that the tidal tail is really only visible on this I-band image. I know I am no expert on galaxies far from it, but I would like an explanation for these features.
by ElisabethB moderator
This is a Seyfert 1 galaxy and these have very bright nuclei. See wiki : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seyfert_galaxy.
The tidal tail could be the result of a flyby. In the zoomed out image are a couple of galaxies with the same redshift. So, one of these could be the culprit.
And the tidal tail is also visible in the full colour image for me.
Happy Hunting !