Messier 88
Image Credit & Copyright:
Adam Block, Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter, U. Arizona

Explanation: Charles Messier described the 88th entry in his 18th century catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters as a spiral nebula without stars. Of course the gorgeous M88 is now understood to be a galaxy full of stars, gas, and dust, not unlike our own Milky Way. In fact, M88 is one of the brightest galaxies in the Virgo Galaxy Cluster some 50 million light-years away. M88’s beautiful spiral arms are easy to trace in this sharp cosmic portait. The arms are lined with young blue star clusters, pink star-forming regions, and obscuring dust lanes extending from a yellowish core dominated by an older population of stars. Spiral galaxy M88 spans over 100,000 light-years.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space

Adam Block,Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter,U. Arizona

说明: 在18世纪梅西耶所编录的星云与星团表里,他是以“没有恒星的螺旋星云”来描述其中的第88号天体。如今我们当然知道M88是个由恒星、云气和尘埃所聚成的壮丽螺旋星系,和我们的银河系并无不同。事实上,M88是距离我们约5千万光年远的室女星系团里,最明亮的成员星系之一。在这幅清晰的宇宙图像里,M88美丽的螺旋臂清楚可辨。从其繁多泛黄年老恒星聚成的星系核心伸出之螺旋臂上,排着年轻泛蓝星团、粉红色恒星形成区、和黝黑不透光的尘埃带。螺旋星系M88的跨幅超过100,000光年。

明日的图片: pixels in space