Galaxy NGC 3314
May 7, 2005
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.
Topics: Extragalactic astronomy, Barred spiral galaxies, Astronomy, Hydra constellation, Fornax constellation, Hubble sequence, NGC, Eridanus constellation, Atlas of Peculiar Galaxies, Galaxy, Spiral galaxies, Technology Internet