Astronomy Picture of the Day

NGC 3628: The Hamburger Galaxy
Image Credit & Copyright: Eric Coles and Mel Helm

Explanation: No, hamburgers are not this big. What is pictured is a sharp telescopic views of a magnificent edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 3628 show a puffy galactic disk divided by dark dust lanes. Of course, this deep galactic portrait puts some astronomers in mind of its popular moniker, The Hamburger Galaxy. The tantalizing island universe is about 100,000 light-years across and 35 million light-years away in the northern springtime constellation Leo. NGC 3628 shares its neighborhood in the local Universe with two other large spirals M65 and M66 in a grouping otherwise known as the Leo Triplet. Gravitational interactions with its cosmic neighbors are likely responsible for the extended flare and warp of this spiral’s disk.

Tomorrow’s picture: open space

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