Mmm. Spirally

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Behold: the immense spiral galaxy of Messier 96 – 31 million light years distant in the Constellation of Leo. To wit:

…it spans 100 thousand light-years or so, making it about the size of our own Milky Way. M96, also known as NGC 3368, is known to be about 35 million light-years distant and a dominant member of the Leo I galaxy group. The featured image was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The reason for M96‘s asymmetry is unclear — it could have arisen from gravitational interactions with other Leo I group galaxies, but the lack of an intra-group diffuse glow seems to indicate few recent interactions. Galaxies far in the background can be found by examining the edges of the picture.

(Image: NASAESAHubble; Processing & Copyright: Leo (what are the chances?) Shatz)

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1 thought on “Mmm. Spirally

  1. Spaghetti Hoop

    Truly beautiful.
    The colours in that Hubble pic are amazing.
    Plus it looks exactly like something that should be in Leo – such vanity!

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