Daily Telescope: Two large galaxies swimming in a sea of interstellar dust


Galaxies in a sea of interstellar dust.
Enlarge / Galaxies in a sea of interstellar dust.

Chris McGrew

Welcome to the Daily Telescope. There is a little too much darkness in this world and not enough light, a little too much pseudoscience and not enough science. We’ll let other publications offer you a daily horoscope. At Ars Technica, we’re going to take a different route, finding inspiration from very real images of a universe that is filled with stars and wonder.

Good morning. It’s January 29, and today’s image features a pair of galaxies.

Located in the middle of the image, Bode’s galaxy is the beautiful spiral and is named after its discoverer, German astronomer Johann Elert Bode. To its right is the Cigar galaxy, also discovered by Bode. The origin of its colloquial name is rather obvious, I think.

Chris McGrew, who took this photo from central Texas last year, composed the image such that he was able to tease out interstellar gas. We are able to see it by the light of our own galaxy being reflected back to us. The effect is rather stunning.

“I’m mesmerized by this image because it shows how empty space really isn’t empty at all,” McGrew told me. “And I think of the civilizations in those galaxies looking back at the Milky Way, wondering what else is out there.”

Don’t we all. Have a great week, everyone.

Source: Chris McGrew

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