Image Credit: NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. Click photo for larger view and look below for information and links.

The light from the beautiful and lonely non-barred spiral galaxy NGC 4414 has been racing across space and time at 671 million miles per hour for 62 million years just to crash upon the Earth and for those lucky photons, they get collected in detectors and preserved for us to admire in this photo.

NGC 4414 is a nearly face on spiral galaxy that shows no signs of previous mergers or interactions with other galaxies. It displays a bright core of ancient yellow stars and majestic spiral arms of thick dust lanes and stellar formation. It’s pretty interesting to think that if somehow, they could see our lonely planet in the sea of the Milky Way they recently witnessed the demise of the dinosaurs and currently conclude that life on Earth had officially met its end. The amazing distances involved in the universe are simply stunning and thought provoking.

NAME: NGC 4414, UGC 7539, PGC 40692.

WHAT IS IT?: Non-barred spiral galaxy.

HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: Roughly 62 million light years or 19.1 megaparsecs.

HOW BIG IS IT?: 3.5’ X 2’ arcminutes on the night sky and 56,000 light years in diameter (17,000 parsecs).


WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Coma Berenices

WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 12h 26m 27.1s / DEC +31° 13′ 29″.

NASA Hubblesite page for this photo: http://hubblesite.org/gallery/album/pr1999025a/

NASA Hubblesite News Center page for this photo: http://hubblesite.org/newscenter/archive/releases/1999/25/image/a/

Image | This entry was posted in Astronomy (Learning), Astrophotography (DSOs), Galaxies, Images and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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