NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY NASA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Spiral galaxy IC 342, composite optical image from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope. IC 342 is a spiral galaxy that appears similar to our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and has arms spiralling around its galactic nucleus (core). It is one of the brightest of the two galaxies in the Maffei Group (also called the IC 342 Group), the closest group of galaxies to the Local Group (a group of nearby galaxies that includes the Milky Way). IC 342 lies about 11 million light years away from Earth, in the constellation Camelopardalis. Data from Spitzer's infrared array camera (IRAC) are shown in blue (3.6 and 4.5 microns) and green (5.8 and 8.0 microns), while Spitzer's multiband imaging photometer (MIPS) observation is red (24 microns).
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