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8 images of galaxies far, far away

By: Katherine Butler on March 11, 2012, 7:13 p.m.

Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech/J. Turner (UCLA)

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The hidden galaxy

Maffei 2 is deemed hidden because it is virtually invisible to optical telescopes. However, the Spitzer Space Telescope was able to cut through the massive clouds of dust of the Milky Way to reveal this galaxy in its splendor. Maffei 2 was discovered by astronomer Paolo Maffei, who also discovered the giant elliptical galaxy Maffei 1. Some experts believe that the giant gravitational forces of these two galaxies may have affected in the early history of the Milky Way and other local group galaxies.