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The Black Eye Galaxy (also called Sleeping Beauty Galaxy; designated M64) absorbed a satellite galaxy that collided with it, perhaps more than one billion years ago. Active formation of new stars is occurring in the shear region where the oppositely rotating gases collide, are compressed, and contract. It is approximately 17 million light years from Earth. The inner region has a radius of only approximately 3,000 light-years, while the outer section extends another 40,000 light-years.
The Black Eye Galaxy (also called Sleeping Beauty Galaxy; designated Messier 64, M64, or NGC 4826) was discovered by Edward Pigott in March 1779, and independently by Johann Elert Bode in April of the same year, as well as by Charles Messier in 1780. It has a spectacular dark band of absorbing dust in front of the galaxy's bright nucleus, giving rise to its nicknames of the "Black Eye" or "Evil Eye" galaxy.