An Abrasive Collision Gives One Galaxy a "Black Eye"

A collision of two galaxies has left a merged star system with an unusual appearance as well as bizarre internal motions. Messier 64 (M64) has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy's bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy.

Fine details of the dark band are revealed in this image of the central portion of M64 obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope. M64 is well known among amateur astronomers because of its appearance in small telescopes. It was first cataloged in the 18th century by the French astronomer Messier. Located in the northern constellation Coma Berenices, M64 resides roughly 17 million light-years from Earth.

Credit:

NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI)

About the Image

NASA press release
Id:opo0404a
Type:Observation
Release date:5 February 2004, 15:00
Size:897 x 1065 px

About the Object

Name:Black Eye Galaxy, Messier 64
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:18 million light years
Constellation:Coma Berenices

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BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
450 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
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547 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Optical
H-alpha
656 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFPC2

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