Astronomy Picture of the Day

Messier 110

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Messier 110


This very sharp
telescopic vista features
the last object in the modern version of Charles
Messier's catalog
of bright clusters and nebulae -
Messier 110.

A dwarf elliptical galaxy,
M110 (aka NGC 205) is actually a
bright satellite of the
large spiral galaxy
making M110 a fellow member
of the local
of galaxies.

Seen through a foreground of nearby stars,
M110 is about 15,000 light-years across.

That makes it comparable
in size to satellite galaxies of our own Milky Way,
the Large and
Small Magellanic Clouds.

Though elliptical galaxies
are normally thought to be lacking in gas and dust to form new stars,
M110 is known to contain
young stars, and faint dust clouds
can easily be seen in this detailed image at about the
7 and 11 o'clock positions relative to the galaxy center.

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