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A collision of two galaxies resulted in this unusual object. Messier 64, also called the “Black Eye" Galaxy, has a dark band of absorbing dust in front of the bright nucleus. All of the stars in M64 are rotating in the same clockwise direction, but the interstellar gas in the outer regions of M64 rotates in the opposite direction. Active formation of new stars is occurring in the shear region.

CREDIT: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI). Acknowledgment: S. Smartt (Institute of Astronomy) and D. Richstone (U. Michigan).