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Lenticular galaxy M102, optical image

Lenticular galaxy M102, optical image

R820/0509

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Credit

ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ROBERT GENDLER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Lenticular galaxy M102, optical image. This lenticular (disc-shaped) galaxy is seen edge-on and so appears spindle-shaped. The dark streak across its centre is a dust lane that forms part of the galaxy's disc. M102 cannot be identified unambiguously. Discrepancies between the Messier catalogue, where it was first recorded as Messier 102, and astronomers, have lead to more than one galaxy being identified as M102. However, the description of M102 fits NGC 5866 the most, which lies about 44 million light years from Earth, in the constellation Draco.

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