group of galaxies lies
some 22 million light-years away.
Found in the multi-headed southern constellation
the winding spiral arms of this gorgeous
island universe are loaded with
luminous young star clusters and dark dust lanes.
Still, for earthbound astronomers NGC 3621 is not just
pretty face-on spiral galaxy.
Some of its
stars have been used as
candles to establish important estimates of
extragalactic distances and the
of the Universe.
image of NGC 3621 traces the loose spiral
arms far from the galaxy's brighter central regions that span some
Spiky foreground stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy and
even more distant background galaxies are scattered across
the colorful skyscape.
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