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.

March 10, 1999
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NGC 2997 from VLT
Credit & Copyright: European Southern Observatory

Explanation: Add another 8-meter telescope to the list of modern optical telescope giants. Kueyen achieved a first-light photograph of a bright star on March 1, ahead of schedule. The above picture of spiral galaxy NGC 2997 was taken with Antu, the first of the four planned Very Large Telscopes (VLTs) being built in Chile for the European Southern Observatory. NGC 2997 is a thin spiral galaxy tilted about 45 degrees with a bright compact nucleus and prominent lanes of dark dust.

Tomorrow's picture: Io Activity

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
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& Michigan Tech. U.