Image of the Day: The Grand Spiral Galaxy –What Resides Within?


Looking at the image of Grand spiral galaxy NGC 1232 provokes us at The Daily Galaxy" to wonder in awe "what exists within this magnificent object?" The galaxy is dominated by millions of bright stars and dark dust, caught up in a gravitational swirl of spiral arms revolving about the center impacted at the outer edges by the invisible forces of dark matter.

Open clusters containing bright blue stars can be seen sprinkled along these spiral arms, while dark lanes of dense interstellar dust can be seen sprinkled between them. Less visible, but detectable, are billions of dim normal stars and vast tracts of interstellar gas, together wielding such high mass that they dominate the dynamics of the inner galaxy (See image below).


Image Credit: FORS1, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO; NASA Apod


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