Skip to comments.Astronomy Picture of the Day -- NGC 1309: Spiral Galaxy and Friends
Posted on 01/16/2013 4:03:13 PM PST by SunkenCiv
Explanation: A gorgeous spiral galaxy some 100 million light-years distant, NGC 1309 lies on the banks of the constellation of the River (Eridanus). NGC 1309 spans about 30,000 light-years, making it about one third the size of our larger Milky Way galaxy. Bluish clusters of young stars and dust lanes are seen to trace out NGC 1309's spiral arms as they wind around an older yellowish star population at its core. Not just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy, observations of NGC 1309's recent supernova and Cepheid variable stars contribute to the calibration of the expansion of the Universe. Still, after you get over this beautiful galaxy's grand design, check out the array of more distant background galaxies also recorded in this sharp, reprocessed, Hubble Space Telescope view.
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This morning I couldn't get the vast WWW to respond to my requests, but while I waited I noticed I'd not completed the easy-post links for January, so the first 15 days show 2012 -- they have the correct pictures in them, at least for the most part (blush) but the captions are 2012 instead of 2013. IOW, I turned the first 5% into an object Messier than it ought to have been. At least I got to work that old joke back in.
I love, love, love the enlarged photo!
Thank you so much, SunkenCiv!
While I was busy whining, I forgot to mention that it was impressive, thanks onyx!
A galaxy here, a galaxy there — pretty soon you’re talking about real space!
This is one of my favorites, a galaxy seen above the plane of the ecliptic. You really can’t see much edge-on. This is much better.
Love it. Pic saved.