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.
2017 May 26
Explanation: Big, beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744 is nearly 175,000 light-years across, larger than our own Milky Way. It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Pavo appearing as a faint, extended object in small telescopes. We see the disk of the nearby island universe tilted towards our line of sight. This remarkably distinct and detailed galaxy portrait covers an area about the angular size of the full moon. In it, the giant galaxy's yellowish core is dominated by the light from old, cool stars. Beyond the core, spiral arms filled with young blue star clusters and pinkish star forming regions sweep past a smaller satellite galaxy at the lower left, reminiscent of the Milky Way's satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.