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.

2004 November 27
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NGC 2683: Spiral Edge-On
Credit & Copyright: Doug Matthews & Adam Block, NOAO, AURA, NSF

Explanation: This gorgeous island universe, cataloged as NGC 2683, lies a mere 16 million light-years distant in the northern constellation Lynx. A spiral galaxy comparable to our own Milky Way, NGC 2683 is seen nearly edge-on in this cosmic vista, with more distant galaxies scattered in the background. Blended light from a large population of old yellowish stars forms the remarkably bright galactic core. Starlight silhouettes the dust lanes along winding spiral arms, dotted with the telltale pink glow of ionized hydrogen gas from this galaxy's star forming regions.

Tomorrow's picture: doomed star

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