Galaxies abound in
this cosmic scene, a well chosen telescopic
view toward the northern constellation of
Most noticeable are the striking pair of
(above, right) and NGC 3729 (below center) - a mere
52 million light-years distant.
In particular, NGC 3718 has dramatic
dust lanes sweeping through
its bright central region and extensive but faint spiral arms.
Seen about 150 thousand light-years apart,
these two galaxies are likely
accounting for the warped and peculiar appearance of NGC 3718.
While a careful study of the deep image reveals a number
of fainter and more distant
background galaxies, another
remarkable galaxy grouping known as
Hickson Group 56A can
be found just to the right of NGC 3718.
contains five interacting galaxies and lies
over 400 million light-years away.