Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Astronomy Picture of the Day: 10/30/13 - NGC 7049

NGC 7049 is an oddball galaxy that"s located approximately 100 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Indus. The galaxy is a member of the so-called "Brightest Cluster Galaxies" (BCG), which as the name implies, is a group of gravitationally bound galaxies that are extremely bright, old and massive.

Contained within the elliptical galaxy, which also bears properties of a spiral galaxy -- is a host of large globular clusters, with thousands of massive stars giving off the impression of glitter befalling around the bright halo of the galaxy. NGC 7049"s unusual appearance can be chalked up to a series of swirling rope-like dust lanes, which are lit up by the background stars in surrounding globular clusters.

References, sources, and further reading can be found here:

Credit: NASA, ESA and W. Harris (McMaster University, Ontario, Canada)

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