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.

September 29, 1998
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A Peculiar Cluster of Galaxies
Credit: FORS1, 8.2-meter VLT, ESO

Explanation: Far across the universe, an unusual cluster of galaxies has been evolving. A diverse group of galaxies populate this cluster, including, on the left, an unusual galaxy showing an equatorial polar ring and a large spiral. Above looms a large elliptical galaxy. The reason for the small size of galaxies on the right is not yet known - these galaxies might be smaller or might just lie even farther in the distance. Almost every spot in this picture is a galaxy. Studying distant clusters like this may help astronomers better understand when and how these cosmic giants formed.

Tomorrow's picture: In the Center of NGC 1232

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.