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Galaxies

The Hidden Maffei

As each slider bar is manipulated, the view transitions from visible light to infrared light to near infrared light. In visible light: This galaxy is obscured behind a dust cloud. In infrared light: Slightly longer wavelengths of infrared light can penetrate the dust. In near infrared light: Even longer infrared wavelengths show us the dust features of the hidden galaxy. As each slider bar is manipulated, the view transitions from visible light to infrared light to near infrared light. In visible light: This galaxy is obscured behind a dust cloud. In infrared light: Slightly longer wavelengths of infrared light can penetrate the dust. In near infrared light: Even longer infrared wavelengths show us the dust features of the hidden galaxy. As each slider bar is manipulated, the view transitions from visible light to infrared light to near infrared light. In visible light: This galaxy is obscured behind a dust cloud. In infrared light: Slightly longer wavelengths of infrared light can penetrate the dust. In near infrared light: Even longer infrared wavelengths show us the dust features of the hidden galaxy.
Visible: Default View

Infrared:
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Near Infrared:
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The Hidden Maffei

Infrared light helps the study of galaxies that might otherwise be hidden from us. One such example is Maffei 2, a barred starburst galaxy that happens to fall behind our own Milky Way. In visible light, the thick clouds of dust within our own galaxy almost entirely obscure our view of it. Switching to longer infrared wavelengths lets the light pass through the murky dust to reveal this hidden gem.
Visible: This galaxy is obscured behind a dust cloud.
Infrared: Slightly longer wavelengths of infrared light can penetrate the dust.
Near Infrared: Even longer infrared wavelengths show us the dust features of the hidden galaxy.
CREDITS: Visible: DSS/IPAC. Near-infrared: 2MASS/IPAC. Infrared: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Turner (UCLA).