Gossamer galaxy (NGC 3718), optical image

Gossamer galaxy (NGC 3718), optical image

R820/0507

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Caption

Gossamer galaxy (NGC 3718), optical image. NGC 3718 (centre) is known as a peculiar galaxy, which are irregular spiral galaxies. The reasons for its unusual shape, with wispy outer arms and an unstructured centre, are unknown. There is a gossamer-like (hence the name) wisp of dark nebula, a dense dust cloud, across its centre. The smaller galaxy to its right is NGC 3729. NGC 3718 lies about 52 million light years from Earth, in the constellation Ursa Major.

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