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Thread: When Galaxies Overlap

  1. #1 When Galaxies Overlap 
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    May 2005

    NGC 3314: When Galaxies Overlap
    Credit: W. Keel & R. White (Univ. Alabama, Tuscaloosa),
    Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/ AURA), ESA, NASA

    NGC 3314 consists of two large spiral galaxies which just happen to almost exactly line-up. The foreground spiral is viewed nearly face-on, its pinwheel shape defined by young bright star clusters. But against the glow of the background galaxy, dark swirling lanes of interstellar dust are also seen to echo the face-on spiral's structure. The dust lanes are surprisingly pervasive, and this remarkable pair of overlapping galaxies is one of a small number of systems in which absorption of visible light can be used to directly explore the distribution of dust in distant spirals. NGC 3314 is about 140 million light-years away in the multi-headed constellation Hydra. This color composite was constructed from Hubble Space Telescope images made in 1999 and 2000.

    "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."
    - H. G. Wells (1866-1946)
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