You can see multiple galaxies in this section of the constellation Ursa Major. The most striking is NGC 3718, the warped spiral galaxy near picture center. NGC 3718’s spiral arms look twisted and extended, mottled with young blue star clusters. Drawn out reddish dust lanes obscure its yellowish central regions. A mere 150 thousand light-years to the top is another large spiral galaxy, NGC 3729. The two are likely interacting gravitationally, accounting for the peculiar appearance of NGC 3718. The gravitational pressure from 3729 is warping 3718.

While this galaxy pair lies about 52 million light-years away, the remarkable Hickson Group 56, a very small fuzzi area, is located just to the left of NGC 3718 in this image. Hickson Group 56 consists of five interacting galaxies and lies over 400 million light-years away!

I took this image over 810 minutes in LRGB colors. Total of 30 images of Luminance (of 20 minutes) and 7 images each for R,G,B colors of 10 minutes each.

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