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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Peculiar Galaxy NGC 3256 as seen by Hubble

Peculiar Galaxy NGC 3256 as seen by Hubble
Click on the image for full resolution (5.0 MB)

NGC 3256, also known as VV 65, is an impressive example of a peculiar galaxy that is actually the relict of a collision of two separate galaxies that took place in a distant past. The telltale signs of the collision are two extended luminous tails swirling out from the galaxy. NGC 3256 belongs to the Hydra-Centaurus supercluster complex and provides a nearby template for studying the properties of young star clusters in tidal tails. The system hides a double nucleus and a tangle of dust lanes in the central region. The tails are studded with a particularly high density of star clusters. This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on 24th April 2008.
The full resolution image weighs 5.0 MB, so please be patient when downloading!
Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration and A. Evans (University of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook University)
Image enhancement: Jean-Baptiste Faure

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