Optical CCD image of the spiral galaxy M64

Optical CCD image of the spiral galaxy M64

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Credit: DR RUDOLPH SCHILD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Optical CCD (Charge Coupled Devive) image of the spiral galaxy M64 (NGC 4826) also known as the Black Eye galaxy. The main feature of M64 is the massive dark lane visible below its nucleus. It is caused by interstellar clouds of dust which absorb the light emitted by the stars in these regions. The spiral arms exhibit a very soft texture and do not show any trace of resolution into knots. Some blue knots are visible in the dark lane and they represent regions of new star formation. The nucleus is instead dominated by a population of old yellow stars. The image was obtained with blue-green, red and near infrared filters and it may be considered a true colour version.

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Keywords: absorption in galaxy, astronomy, cosmology, dust, galactic, galaxy, m64, ngc 4826, science, spiral, spiral galaxy

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