Illustration for article titled The most perfect spiral galaxy in the universe

This is the galaxy Messier 74, located about 32 million light-years away. Home to some 100 billion stars, Messier 74 is one of the most perfect examples of a spiral galaxy because it's positioned face-on towards Earth.


A NASA astronomer adds:

Classified as an Sc galaxy, the grand design of M74's graceful spiral arms are traced by bright blue star clusters and dark cosmic dust lanes. The above image covers half the width of the full Moon and was obtained using 19 hours of exposure on the 1.23-meter telescope at Calar Alto Observatory in the Sierra de Los Filabres mountain range in Spain. Spanning about 30,000 light-years across the face of M74, it includes exposures recording emission from hydrogen atoms, highlighting the reddish glow of the galaxy's large star-forming regions.



Share This Story

Get our newsletter