Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Deep space

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Black Eye Galaxy

This is the Black Eye Galaxy, one of the thousands of deep space galaxies that pepper the universe. It is about 17 million light-years distant, giving us a glimpse into the past of the expanding universe. The dark clouds that give this galaxy its “black eye” are enormous dust clouds associated with star formation, I am told. Observers who can look a lot closer than I was able to do say that we are looking at two, concentric, counter-rotating systems of stars, one in the inner 3,000 light-years, and another extending to about 40,000 light-years and rotating in the opposite direction. These tidbits come from the Astronomy Picture of the Day for August 2, 2007.

One of these days I will put an expandable image of Mr. Black Eye in the still empty “Glorious skies” tab of the main menu bar with details of how the photons were gathered and how I processed them to produce this image.

Dave, still trying to wrap his mind around 17 million light-years.

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