in size to large, bright spiral galaxies in our neighborhood,
is a mere 10 million light-years
distant in the long-necked,
northern constellation Camelopardalis.
A sprawling island universe, IC 342
would otherwise be a
prominent galaxy in our night sky,
but it is hidden from clear view and only
glimpsed through the veil of stars, gas and dust clouds
along the plane of our own Milky Way galaxy.
Even though IC 342's light is dimmed by
deep telescopic image
traces the galaxy's obscuring dust, blue star clusters, and glowing
pink star forming regions along spiral arms that
wind far from the galaxy's core.
IC 342 may have undergone a recent
star formation activity and is
close enough to have gravitationally
influenced the evolution of the
group of galaxies and the Milky Way.