NGC 253 Galaxy, is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible,
and also one of the dustiest.
Some call it the Silver Dollar Galaxy for its appearance in small
telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within
the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor.
First swept up in 1783 by mathematician
and astronomer Caroline Herschel,
the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years
About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest
member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest to our
own Local Group of Galaxies.
In addition to its spiral dust lanes, striking tendrils of
dust seem to be rising
from a galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star
forming regions in
processed color image.
The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation,
NGC 253 the designation of a starburst galaxy.
NGC 253 is also known
to be a strong source of high-energy
x-rays and gamma rays, likely due to massive black holes near
the galaxy's center.
Star Shadows Remote
Observatory and PROMPT/CTIO
(Steve Mazlin, Jack Harvey, Rick Gilbert, and Daniel Verschatse)