March 31, 2005"Cosmic dust bunnies"as scientists have
nicknamed the brownish dust in this imageare 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.