Spiral Galaxy NGC 1309 in the Constellation Eridanus

Galaxy NGC 1309

NGC 1309 is a spiral galaxy located approximately 120 million light-years away in the constellation Eridanus. It is about 75,000 light-years across; about 3/4s the width of our own galaxy, the Milky Way.

Its shape is classified as SA(s)bc, meaning that it has moderately wound spiral arms and no ring. Bright blue areas of star formation can be seen in the spiral arms, while the yellowish central nucleus contains older-population stars. NGC 1309 is one of over 200 members of the Eridanus Group of galaxies.

The image on the right is a composite of 25 hours of exposures taken by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) during August and September of 2005 using the B (blue: 435 nm), V (visual: 555 nm) and I (infrared: 814 nm) filters. The image is a square capturing 2.9 x 2.9 arcminutes of sky (roughly 100,000 light-years per side).

Note: the smaller galaxies visible in the image are in the distant background; they are not satellites.

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NGC_1309 - 25.09.2010

Galaxy NGC 1309

Who is able to realize, what the distance to the earth of 100 millions light years means?

Who can imagine the largeness of such a galaxy and of the numberless galaxies we see in the background.

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