One of the best studied examples of the jungle of star clusters, gas and dust clouds are the galactic interactions of NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, the Antenna Galaxies, only 60 million light years away.
In images of visible light, large and luminous areas of material seem to reach galactic debris, resulting in an appearance of both in an insect-like manner.
But this photograph taken in false color by the Wide Field Infrared Camera (WIRC) installed in the Palomar Observatory on its 200-inch telescope, reveals some hidden details.
The large central core of the two original galaxies dominates the infrared scene, in addition to bright sources that look like large and new star cluster formations. The north (above) of the nucleus, dark in images of normal light, is uncovered here with a mini spiral barred structure reminiscent of several simple spiral galaxies.
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