Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 1309 and Friends

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#84512 by @ 10.02.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
NGC 1309 and Friends


A gorgeous
spiral galaxy some 100 million light-years distant,
lies on the banks of the constellation

NGC 1309 spans about 30,000 light-years, one third the size
of our larger Milky Way galaxy.

Bluish clusters of young stars and
dust lanes are seen to trace out
NGC 1309's spiral arms as they wind around an older yellowish star
population at its core.

Not just another pretty face-on spiral
galaxy, observations of
NGC 1309's recent supernova and cepheid stars contribute to the
calibration of
the expansion of the Universe.

Still, after you get over this beautiful galaxy's
grand design,
check out
the array of more distant background galaxies also recorded
in the sharp Hubble Space Telescope view.

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