Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans

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NGC 2442: Galaxy in Volans


NGC 2442
can be found in the southern constellation of the
flying fish, (Piscis)

Located about 50 million light-years away, the galaxy's two
extending from a pronounced central bar give it an
hook-shaped appearance.

This striking color image also shows obscuring
dust lanes, young blue star clusters and
reddish star forming regions
surrounding a core of yellowish light from an older population of stars.

But the star forming regions seem more concentrated along the
drawn-out northern (top) spiral arm.

The distorted structure is likely the result of a
close encounter
with a smaller galaxy located just outside this telescopic
field of view.

The picture spans
about 1/6 of a degree, or 150,000 light years at
the estimated distance
of NGC 2442.

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