FromQuarkstoQuasars

Astronomy Photo of the Day: 5/5/14 – NGC 1365

FuturismMay 5th 2014
Image Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, J-E. Ovaldsen, C. Thöne, and C. Feron.
Image Credit: ESO/IDA/Danish 1.5 m/ R. Gendler, J-E. Ovaldsen, C. Thöne, and C. Feron.

NGC 1365, which is also known as the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, is located approximately 60 million light-years from Earth in the Fornax constellation. As its nickname implies, it is one of the largest and most well studied barred spiral galaxies in existence, spanning about 200,000 light-years across -(essentially making it twice as long as the Milky Way). Astronomers think that if we could directly picture the Milky Way from the outside looking in, it would heavily resemble this galaxy, except the Milky Way would appear only half of its size and have a less prominent central bar  (the hub of star formation within NGC 1365).

NGC 1365 is a member of the Fornax cluster of galaxies. Most of the galaxies contained within are fairly old cosmologically speaking (and they are heavy sources of radio waves). In fact, the cluster itself appears slightly dull and inactive, but  when you take a peak at this rich region of sky in infrared or in ultraviolet, it comes to life.

Lastly, a very bright supernova blast became visible to viewers on Earth recently. The supernova, which is a type 1a blast, was discovered using the telescope at La Silla Observatory in Chilie . The remnant is intensely blue and adds to the mystique of an already beautiful celestial object.

See a larger image here.

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