Astronomy Picture of the Day

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.

September 12, 1995

Spiral Galaxy M83
Credit: Anglo-Australian Telescope photograph by David Malin
Copyright: Anglo-Australian Telescope Board

Explanation: Long winding spiral arms are clearly evident on this spectacular picture of the spiral galaxy M83. The blue colour of the spiral arms is caused by the relatively large fraction of young blue stars there. Dark dust lanes are mixed in with the stars and trace the spiral structure of the galaxy. This galaxy contains many billions of stars, and its light took many millions of years to reach us. Our own Milky Way Galaxy would appear similar to this if viewed from images from the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT).

Tomorrow's picture: Elliptical Galaxy M87

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Authors & editors: Robert Nemiroff (MTU) & Jerry Bonnell (USRA)
NASA Technical Rep.: Jay Norris. Specific rights apply.
A service of: LHEA at NASA/ GSFC
&: Michigan Tech. U.