Wednesday, October 22, 2008

carnival galaxies

this gorgeous image of NGC 7331 comes from the 3.5-meter telescope at the calar alto observatory in southern spain.

click for full resolution image.

something about this image just makes me happy! i love the colors. the details of the NGC 7331 galaxy in the foreground beautifully demonstrate blue regions where stars are forming and dark, cloudy regions where dust blocks the starlight in spiral waves. NGC 7331 sits 50 million light years away from us, while the spiral galaxies that appear to be floating above it are really another ten times farther away!

vincent peris shares a full description of how he processed the data to produce this spectacular image! enjoy!


C W Magee said...

How close are the big black dustclouds that we can see in the Milky Way?

Unknown said...

i think the nearest big dust clouds are a few thousand light years away. those living on the opposite side of the milky way are up to 80,000 light years away.