Astronomy Picture of the Day



Dusty Spiral M66

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#92539 by @ 03.09.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Dusty Spiral M66


Explanation:

When morning twilight came to the
Paranal Observatory in Chile,
astronomers Mark Neeser and Peter Barthel interrupted their
search for faint
quasars, billions of
light-years away.

And just for a moment, they used
Very Large Telescopes
at the European Southern Observatory to appreciate the beauty of
the nearby Universe.

One result was
this stunning view
of beautiful spiral galaxy M66,
a mere 35 million light-years away.

About 100 thousand light-years across with striking dust lanes
and bright star clusters along sweeping spiral arms,
M66 is well known to astronomers as a
member of the Leo Triplet
of galaxies.

Gravitational interactions with its
neighborhood
galaxies

have likely influenced the shape of dusty spiral M66.




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