Astronomy Picture of the Day

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

September 17, 1995
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download 
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Thousands of Coma Cluster Galaxies
Credit: UK Schmidt Telescope, Skyview
Copyright: Royal Observatory Edinburgh, Anglo-Australian Observatory, and AURA

Explanation: Almost every object in the above photograph is a galaxy. The Coma Cluster of galaxies pictured is a dense cluster containing many thousands of galaxies. Many of these galaxies contain as many stars as our own Milky Way Galaxy. Although nearby when compared to most other clusters, light from the Coma Cluster still takes hundreds of millions of years to reach us. In fact, the Coma Cluster is so big it takes light millions of years just to go from one side to the other! This picture was created at the WWW site Skyview, a "virtual observatory" where it is possible to view any part of the sky in wavelengths from radio to gamma-ray.

Tomorrow's picture: The Large Cloud of Magellan

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Astronomy Picture of the Day (TM) is created and copyrighted in 1995 by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell who are solely responsible for its content.

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