Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Gorgeous Island Universe --How Our Milky Way Would Look from 50-Million Light Years


The e gorgeous island universe spiral galaxy NGC 7331, about 50 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Pegasus is a visual analog to our own Milky Way. The galaxy was recognized early on as a spiral nebula and is actually one of the brighter galaxies not included in Charles Messier's famous 18th century catalog. The most prominent background galaxies are about one tenth the apparent size of NGC 7331 and so lie roughly ten times farther away. Their close alignment on the sky with NGC 7331 occurs just by chance. Seen through faint foreground dust clouds lingering above the plane of Milky Way, this visual grouping of galaxies is known as the Deer Lick Group.

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