Image Credit & Copyright: Adam Block, Mt Lemmon Sky Center, University of Arizona.
66 million light years away in the constellation Sculptor is this beautifully uniform barred spiral galaxy cataloged as NGC 613. Hey, 66 million light years, so this is what that galaxy looked like when the dinosaurs were likely taking their last breaths, unknowing what was headed their way, pretty creepy.
This image is great because you can clearly see a highly developed bar structure spanning about 60,000 light years with multiple arms extending out from their ends. Throughout the entire structure there’s the telltale blue sign of young stars and star formation as well as a vast supply of gas and dust throughout so ensure there’s enough fuel for future generations when the time comes. That bright star that appears to be a supernova is actually foreground star, HD 9693 in our own Milky Way galaxy.
With almost all known galaxies, the high energy radio emissions at its nucleus indicate a supermassive black hole churns away.
NAME: NGC 613.
WHAT IS IT?: Barred spiral galaxy with foreground star HD 9693.
HOW BIG IS IT?: About 100,000 light years in diameter.
HOW FAR AWAY IS IT?: Roughly 66 million light years.
APPARENT MAGNITUDE: A modest 10. Small telescopes in dark skies should show you a tiny, fuzzy blob.
WHERE IS IT? (General): Constellation Sculptor and an outlying member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies.
WHERE IS IT? (Exact RA/DEC J2000): RA 01h 34m 18.235s / DEC –29° 25′ 06.56″.
Caelum Observatory page for this image: http://www.caelumobservatory.com/gallery/n613.shtml