There will be a network outage, Sunday, April 26 from 13:00 EDT - Monday April 27 01:00 EDT. All services, web sites, and systems that require access to the internet will be affected by this work.

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.

2008 October 2
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download
 the highest resolution version available.

NGC 253 Close-Up
Credit: NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton, B. Williams (Univ. Washington)
Ground-based data: T. Rector (Univ. Alaska, Anchorage), T. Abbott, NOAO/AURA/NSF

Explanation: This dusty island universe is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the sky. Seen nearly edge-on, NGC 253 lies a mere 13 million light-years away and is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of galaxies, neighbor to our own local galaxy group. The remarkably sharp, close-up view is based on data from the Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). Beginning on the left near the galaxy's core, the panorama follows filaments of dust, interstellar gas, and even individual stars toward the galaxy's edge at the far right, a magnificent vista spanning nearly 50,000 light-years. The image data are part of ANGST, the ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey Treasury, a program to explore our cosmic backyard.


Tomorrow's picture: young suns


< | Archive | Index | Search | Calendar | RSS | Education | About APOD | Discuss | >

Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
NASA Web Privacy Policy and Important Notices
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.