Click here for a higher-resolution image

NGC 660 is the most famous example of a peculiar type of galaxy known as a Polar Ring Galaxy. Oriented at 45 degrees is an edge-on galaxy with its prominent dust lane, all of which is encircled by another vertical "ring" of material. This ring passes through the "poles" of the main galaxy, hence the term Polar Ring. There are two theories on what is happening here: (1) one galaxy is passing through another, or (2) the main galaxy encountered another galaxy in the past and gravitationally stripped from material from it to form the ring.

The warped galaxy at the upper right is IC 148. It lies at a similar distance to NGC 660 so it is in fact possible that this is the galaxy that NGC 660 interacted with in the past. The small galaxy on the left side of the image is UGC 1211. Hundreds of small background galaxies are visible in the high-resolution image (see link above).