Astronomy Picture of the Day



Hidden Galaxy IC 342

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#94720 by @ 06.10.2006 00:00 - nach oben -
Hidden Galaxy IC 342


Explanation:

Similar
in size to other large, bright spiral galaxies
IC 342
is a mere 7 million light-years distant in
the long-necked, northern constellation
Camelopardalis.

A sprawling island universe, IC 342
would otherwise be a
prominent galaxy in our night sky,
but it is almost hidden from view behind the veil of stars,
gas and dust clouds
in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.

Even though IC 342's light is dimmed by
intervening cosmic
clouds
, this remarkably
sharp
telescopic image

traces the galaxy's own obscuring dust, blue star clusters, and glowing
pink star forming regions along spiral arms that
wind far from the galaxy's core.

IC 342
may have undergone a recent
burst of
star formation activity and is
close enough to have gravitationally
influenced the evolution of the
local
group
of galaxies and the Milky Way.




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