Galactic Beauty Contest

The winner is …

M74, the spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces. It’s about 180 quintillion miles away. The light gathered for this image is 32 million years old, right around the time our Antarctic continent was getting fitted for an ice cap.

The Astronomy Picture of the Day site describes briefly, in part:

Classified as an Sc galaxy, the grand design of M74′s graceful spiral arms are traced by bright blue star clusters and dark cosmic dust lanes. Constructed from image data recorded in 2003 and 2005, this sharp composite is from the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys. Spanning about 30,000 light-years across the face of M74, it includes exposures recording emission from hydrogen atoms, highlighting the reddish glow of the galaxy’s large star-forming regions.

Just so you know, it was determined a few years ago that our own galaxy, the Milky Way, is not a spiral, but a barred spiral.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage (STScI / AURA)- ESA / Hubble Collaboration. Acknowledgment: R. Chandar (Univ. Toledo) and J. Miller (Univ. Michigan)

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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