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.

November 1, 1996
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Spiral Galaxy NGC 3628 Edge On
Anglo-Australian Telescope photograph by David Malin
Copyright: Anglo-Australian Telescope Board

Explanation: This is what a spiral galaxy looks like sideways. This view of NGC 3628 nearly resembles our own Milky Way Galaxy, which is also known to be a spiral. The dark band across the center is absorbed starlight caused by the galaxy's own interstellar dust. NGC 3628 is the faintest member of the Leo Triplet, a group of galaxies dominated by M65 and M66. The Leo Triplet lies about 35 million light years distant. The center of NGC 3628 emits variable X-ray radiation perhaps indicating the presence of a massive black hole.

Tomorrow's picture: Spiral Galaxy NGC 253 Almost Sideways

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