in size to other large, bright spiral galaxies,
is a mere 7 million light-years distant in
the long-necked, northern constellation
A sprawling island universe, IC 342
would otherwise be a
prominent galaxy in our night sky,
but it is almost hidden from view behind the veil of stars,
gas and dust clouds
in the plane of our Milky Way galaxy.
Even though IC 342's light is dimmed by
clouds, this remarkably sharp
traces the galaxy's own obscuring dust, blue star clusters, and glowing
pink star forming regions along spiral arms that
Wind far from the galaxy's core.
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.
(Hay Creek Observatory)