NGC 3718 is a warped spiral galaxy found near the picture center. NGC 3718's faint spiral arms look twisted and extended, its bright central region crossed by obscuring dust lanes. A mere 150 thousand light-years to the upper left is another large spiral galaxy, NGC 3729. The two are likely interacting gravitationally, accounting for the peculiar appearance of NGC 3718. While this galaxy pair lies about 52 million light-years away, the remarkable Hickson Group 56 can also be seen clustered just below and to the left of NGC 3718. Hickson Group 56 consists of five interacting galaxies and lies over 400 million light-years away. This image consists of 3 hours total exposure. The session was under the control of CCD AutoPilot 4. The image was taken on May 16, 2010 under poor seeing conditions.

All images © Mel Martin 2017     Contact Me