The Cocoon Galaxy is part of a pair of interacting galaxies, sometimes referred to collectively as the Cocoon Galaxies. These two galaxies - the primary Cocoon Galaxy and its smaller companion NGC 4485 - have distorted one others' shapes, and because of internal compression, the Cocoon Galaxy shows starburst activity, making it rich with star-forming regions.
The barred spiral shape of the Cocoon Galaxy has been distorted by its interaction with NGC 4485, the smaller galaxy visible to the north in this image. NGC 4485 was itself originally spiral in form, but has been so distorted by its interaction with the primary Cocoon Galaxy that it is now generally classified as 'Irregular'. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas