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NGC 3314: When Galaxies Overlap

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NGC 3314: When Galaxies Overlap


NGC 3314
consists of two large spiral
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
of dust in distant spirals.

NGC 3314 is
about 140 million light-years away in the multi-headed

This color composite was constructed
from Hubble Space Telescope images made in 1999 and 2000.

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