A Micro Dust Cloud Superimposed on NGC 3269
NGC3269 is one of the most interesting galaxies in the Antlia Cluster. This appears to be an Sa spiral surrounded by several tidal loops and clumps. A particularly curious feature is a tiny 4 arcsecond wide brown dust cloud superimposed on the bright blue spiral arms.
In the image above, on the left is a 2X enlarged crop of NGC3269. At the bottom right is a close-up taken with the 6.5m Magellan Telescope which shows the micro dust cloud in detail, including two additional very small patches each about 0.5 arcseconds wide. One of these is identifiable in my image, as can be seen in the 4X enlarged crop inserted at the top.
These are suspected to be unique small foreground dust clouds of a previously unknown type. For more details on this peculiar feature see "A Tiny Galactic Dust Cloud Projected onto NGC 3269?", B. Dirsch et al. 2005 The Astronomical Journal 130 1141