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.
2008 October 2
Explanation: This dusty island universe is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the sky. Seen nearly edge-on, NGC 253 lies a mere 13 million light-years away and is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of galaxies, neighbour to our own local galaxy group. The remarkably sharp, close-up view is based on data from the Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). Beginning on the left near the galaxy's core, the panorama follows filaments of dust, interstellar gas, and even individual stars toward the galaxy's edge at the far right, a magnificent vista spanning nearly 50,000 light-years. The image data are part of ANGST, the ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey Treasury, a program to explore our cosmic backyard.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.