ESA/Hubble & NASA

Dust reddens the starlight along the edge of NGC 891 in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Explore this close-up zoom of the spiral galaxy seen edge-on. What stories or shapes do you along the edge of the galaxy? Leave a note in the comments below.

NGC 891 spans about 100,000 light-years. This view is similar in many ways to our view of the Milky Way as it arcs across the night sky. The biggest difference however is that we see our dust-filled plane of our galaxy from the inside from about 10,000 light-years. Using Hubble’s powerful telescope we gaze into NGC 891 from a distance of about 30 million light-years. The bright galactic central bulge lies just off image at the bottom left. Zoom into the tendrils of dust set against the bright backdrop of the galaxy. Scattered throughout these filaments are areas of blue mist. These are areas of new star formation. Astronomers believe too that supernovae explosions scatter the dust, clearing out vast sections of space and pushing dust into dense pockets where more new stars can form.

NGC 891 is found toward the relatively open constellation of Andromeda, the mythical daughter of Cassiopeia and Cepheus. A few foreground stars from the Milky Way galaxy are seen blazing brightly in the image. Look also for distant elliptical and spiral galaxies scattered throughout the image.

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