IC 342: 尘豹座的隐藏星系



IC 342: Hidden Galaxy in Camelopardalis
Image Credit & Copyright:
Steve Cannistra

Explanation: Similar in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood, IC 342 is a mere 10 million light-years distant in the long-necked, northern constellation Camelopardalis. A sprawling island universe, IC 342 would otherwise be a prominent galaxy in our night sky, but it is hidden from clear view and only glimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds along the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy. Even though IC 342’s light is dimmed and reddened by intervening cosmic clouds, this sharp telescopic image traces the galaxy’s own obscuring dust, young star clusters, and glowing star forming regions along spiral arms that wind far from the galaxy’s core. IC 342 has undergone a recent burst of star formation activity and is close enough to have gravitationally influenced the evolution of the local group of galaxies and the Milky Way.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space

IC 342: 尘豹座的隐藏星系
Steve Cannistra

说明: 大小和我们附近明亮大螺旋星系相当IC 342,位于北天具有长长脖子的鹿豹座之内,距离我们只有1千万光年远。IC 342是个庞大的宇宙岛,所以本来应是我们夜空中一个很吸睛的星系,不过受到银河系盘面的恒星、云气和尘埃之遮掩,只能隐约窥其身影。虽然IC 342发出的光因受到居间的宇宙云之消光而变暗,然而这幅清晰的望远镜影像,还是能呈现这个星系的尘埃云、年轻恒星团、以及从星系核伸出的长螺旋臂上之粉红恒星诞生区。IC 342最近可能刚发生过猛爆性的恒星诞生活动,此外它也够邻近,因此会透过重力影响本星系群和我们银河系的演化。

明日的图片: pixels in space