NASA spots a perfect side to a galaxy that looks like a lightsaber

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Even George Lucas would be proud of this handiwork.

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has spotted the perfect side to a galaxy 44 million light-years away from Earth, also known as NGC 5866.

According to the space agency, NGC 5866 has a diameter of roughly 60,000 light-years across,” and may appear different than the majority of galaxies are either spiral shaped or in the thick disks of dust, because from our point of view.

The Galaxy NGC 5866, located 44 million light-years from Earth and has a diameter of roughly 60,000 light-years, slightly more than one-half the diameter of our own milky way Galaxy. From our vantage point, NGC 5866 is oriented almost exactly edge-on, making the most of the structural features of the invisible. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)


“Spitzer’s infrared to detect the light, and the red color corresponds to the infrared (ir) wavelengths, usually generated by dust,” NASA said in a statement on its website. “Having a consistency similar to soot or heavy smoke, the dust absorbs the light from the stars and then reemits the light at longer wavelengths, including the infra-red.”

NASA added that it is the dust emission of the NGC 5866 shows a very flat ring or disk of dust orbiting in the outer regions of the milky way galaxy.”

NGC 5866 may be intriguing for you to researchers, because of the way it looks from our point of view, however, the guidance also makes it challenging to learn more about it.

“It’s our view of this galaxy is a little bit like our view of the milky way Galaxy, that the Earth is in the milky way Galaxy, what we see is only the border in place of a face on it,” NASA added in a statement. “However, our distance from the rest of the Galaxy has allowed astronomers to reconstruct what the galaxy would look like seen face-on.”

The Spitzer telescope took the picture during the so-called “cold” mission, which ended in 2009.


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