Astronomy Picture of the Day

The Tidal Tail of NGC 3628

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#102461 by @ 28.07.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
The Tidal Tail of NGC 3628


A mere 30 million light-years away, large spiral
galaxy NGC 3628 (center) shares
its neighborhood in the
local Universe with two other large spirals, in a
magnificent grouping otherwise known as
the Leo Triplett.

In fact, fellow trio member
M65 is near the bottom edge of this
deep cosmic group portrait,
with M66, just above it and to the left.

But, perhaps most intriguing
is the spectacular tail stretching up and to the left
for about 300,000 light-years from
NGC 3628's warped, edge-on disk.

Know as a
tidal tail, the structure has been drawn
out of the galaxy
by gravitational tides during
brief but
past interactions with
its large neighbors.

Not often imaged
so distinctly, the tidal
tail is
of young bluish star clusters and star-forming regions.

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