DAVIDE DE MARTIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DAVIDE DE MARTIN / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Maffei I and II galaxies. North is at top. Maffei I (red, centre right) is an elliptical galaxy, Maffei II (centre left) is classified as a barred spiral. Both are thought to be around 8 to 10 million light years from Earth. They are part of a group (the Maffei I Group) that comprises some 20 galaxies. This group is thought to be a subgroup of the Local Group of galaxies, the group that contains our Milky Way. The group is thought to have been flung away from the Local Group after an interaction with the Andromeda galaxy (not seen). These two galaxies lie in the plane of the Milky Way, and are thus obscured by dust. They were only discovered in 1968. Photographed by the 1.22-metre Oschin Telescope at Mount Palomar, California, USA.
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