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Phantom Galaxy Revealed ... Hubblecast 11: M74 (NGC 628) - A Grand Design In A Galactic Festoon. The galaxy Messier 74 ("The Phantom Galaxy") lies at a distance of over 30 million light years. In this latest image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope the enormous swirls of this stunning spiral galaxy arc across space, adorned with glowing pink regions of hydrogen gas and lit by the pale blue light of millions of newly formed stars. --- Please SUBSCRIBE to Science & Reason: • • • --- Messier 74 (also known as NGC 628) is a face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Pisces. The galaxy contains two clearly-defined spiral arms and is therefore used as an archetypal example of a Grand Design Spiral Galaxy. The galaxy's low surface brightness makes it the most difficult Messier object for amateur astronomers to observe. However, the relatively large angular size of the galaxy and the galaxy's face-on orientation make it an ideal object for professional astronomers who want to study spiral arm structure and spiral density waves. M74 was discovered by Pierre M?chain in 1780. M?chain then communicated his discovery to Charles Messier, who listed the galaxy in his catalog. M74 is the brightest member of the M74 Group, a group of 5-7 galaxies that also includes the peculiar spiral galaxy NGC 660 and a few irregular galaxies. Although different group identification methods may consistently identify many of the same member galaxies in this group, the exact group membership is still uncertain. • --- Hubblecast features news and Images from the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). The space-based observatory is a collaboration between NASA and ESA. The observations are carried out in visible, infrared and ultraviolet light. In many ways Hubble has revolutionised modern astronomy. The Hubble Space Telescope has made some of the most dramatic discoveries in the history of astronomy. From its vantage point 600 km above the Earth, Hubble can detect light with "eyes" five times sharper than the best ground-based telescopes and looks deep into space where some of the most profound mysteries are still buried in the mists of time. Hubble European Space Agency Information Centre, Garching/Munich, Germany • • • Dr. J is a German astronomer at the ESO. His scientific interests are in cosmology, particularly on galaxy evolution and quasars. Dr. J's real name is Joe Liske and he has a PhD in astronomy. • .
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