Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2003 July 27
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

The Aquarius Dwarf
Credit & Copyright: A. Oksanen, 2.6 meter Nordic Optical Telescope

Explanation: Our Milky Way Galaxy is not alone. It is part of a gathering of about 50 galaxies known as the Local Group. Members include the Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31), M32, M33, the Large Magellanic Cloud, the Small Magellanic Cloud, Dwingeloo 1, several small irregular galaxies, and many dwarf elliptical and dwarf spheroidal galaxies. Pictured above is the Aquarius Dwarf, a faint dwarf irregular galaxy over 3 million light years away. An earlier APOD erroneously identified the above image as the Sagittarius Dwarf.

Tomorrow's picture: Blastoff to Mars

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