Hubble Spies Spiral

“NGC 6384 is about 80 million light-years away. At that distance, the galaxy is expected to span 150,000 light years (slightly larger than our own Milky Way). However, this Hubble image only shows the central 70,000 light years.

Clearly seen are the galaxy’s blue star clusters and brown dust lanes along the spiral arms. In 1971, one of the stars of NGC 6384 underwent a Type Ia supernova – which caused the single star to temporarily shine as bright as the whole galaxy.

Because of the position of NGC 6384 on the sky, we need to peer through our own Galaxy, the Milky Way, in order to observe it. The stars with noticeable crosses, or diffraction spikes, are foreground stars from our own Galaxy.

The image is a combination of optical (in blue) and infrared (in red) light. The total exposure time was 1050 seconds (in each filter).”

-CJ

Image: ESA/Hubble/NASA

Further Reading:
http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap130706.html
http://www.kentbiggs.com/images/galaxies/N6384.htm
http://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1108a/

via [The Universe]

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