Art and Science in NGC 981

This beautiful telescopic skyscape features spiral galaxy NGC 981.

The island
universe
is about 50,000 light-years across and lies some 60 million
light-years away toward the
constellation
Aries
.

An artistic presentation, the
image shows spiky foreground stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy and
convoluted dust clouds that hang above our
galactic plane, dimly reflecting starlight.

It also captures NGC 981 in a cosmic
moment
important to astrophysicists on planet Earth.

Light from supernova SN2009js, absent in previous images, is indicated
by the two lines just below and left of the galaxy’s center.

The supernova itself is the
death
explosion
of a massive star within the plane of
galaxy NGC 981.

It was just
discovered
in October
by supernova search teams in Japan and the US.



Credit &
Copyright:

Joseph Brimacombe