NGC 1350

This image is of the spiral galaxy NGC 1350, a galaxy which is probably a bit bigger than ours - the Milky Way - and is around 850 85 million light years away from us. The image was taken in the year 2000 with the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) based at Cerro Paranal in Chile. The VLT produces some fantastic results but doesn't have the fame of the Hubble Space Telescope.

NGC 1350

A colour-composite of the spiral galaxy NGC 1350 taken with FORS2 at the ESO Very Large Telescope. The image, totals 16 minutes of observations. CREDIT: ESO/Henri Boffin

A galaxy such as this one is made up of around 100 billion stars. You can't see the individual stars in this image as they are too small - they add up to that diffuse glow making up the spiral arms. The blue tint indicates that a lot of these stars are quite young and massive in stellar terms. The rest of the smudges and blobs (a highly technical term) that you can see in this image aren't stars but other galaxies. If you click on the image, you will get the bigger version of it in which you can see all those other galaxies a bit better. Can anyone spot the galaxy that looks like a rocket?

If you want to look for this galaxy yourself, it can be found in the constellation Fornax (the Furnace) at a declination of -33, so you will need to be in the southern hemisphere to get a good look.

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 01st Oct 2005 (12:41 UTC) | Permalink
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