Photo in the News: Hubble Spies "Cosmic Dust Bunnies"

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March 31, 2005—"Cosmic dust bunnies"—as scientists have nicknamed the brownish dust in this image—are often mundane remains of major events. The swirling clouds seen here are leftovers of a spiral galaxy (or two or three) that, sometime in the last few billion years, careened into the galaxy NGC 1316, scientists say. NGC 1316 is some 75 million light-years away from Earth.

Released to the public today, this image of an inner region of NGC 1316 is a composite of multiple views captured through different Hubble Space Telescope color filters in 2003. A U.S. team of scientists combined the images to better understand how galaxies like NGC 1316 may have formed during galaxy mergers and how they evolve after the collisions.

—Ted Chamberlain

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