Astronomy Picture of the Day

M74: The Perfect Spiral

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#104869 by @ 02.12.2007 00:00 - nach oben -
M74: The Perfect Spiral


If not perfect, then this
is at least one of the most photogenic.

An island universe of about 100 billion stars,
32 million light-years away toward the
constellation Pisces,
M74 presents
a gorgeous face-on view.

Classified as
an Sc galaxy,
the grand design of M74's graceful spiral
arms are traced by bright blue
star clusters
and dark cosmic dust lanes.

Constructed from
image data recorded in 2003 and 2005,
this sharp
composite is from the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced
Camera for Surveys.

Spanning about 30,000 light-years across the
face of M74, it includes exposures recording emission from
hydrogen atoms,
the reddish glow of the galaxy's large star-forming regions.

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