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Hubble Interacting Galaxy NGC 3256
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Name: NGC 3256, VV 065, AM 1025-433
Description: Interacting Galaxies
Position (J2000): RA 10hr 27m 51.57s Dec -43° 54' 13.4"
Constellation: Vela
Visual Magnitude: 11.3
Angular Dimensions: 6.76 'x 2.69'
Distance: 100 million light-years (50 million parsecs)
Instrument: ACS/WFC
Exposure Date(s): November 5, 2001
Exposure Time: 35 minutes
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA)-ESA/Hubble Collaboration, and A. Evans (U of Virginia, Charlottesville/NRAO/Stony Brook Univ)
Release Date: April 24, 2008
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ABOUT THIS IMAGE:

NGC 3256 is an impressive example of a peculiar galaxy that is actually the relict of a collision of two separate galaxies that took place in a distant past. The telltale signs of the collision are two extended luminous tails swirling out from the galaxy. NGC 3256 belongs to the Hydra-Centaurus supercluster complex and provides a nearby template for studying the properties of young star clusters in tidal tails. The system hides a double nucleus and a tangle of dust lanes in the central region. The tails are studded with a particularly high density of star clusters. The galaxy was discovered on March 15, 1836 by John Herschel.

This image is part of a large collection of 59 images of merging galaxies taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and released on the occasion of its 18th anniversary on 24th April 2008.