Space The Whale and the Hockey Stick


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NASA Astronomy Picture Of The Day
The Whale and the Hockey Stick

DIV ALIGN=CENTERa href="" IMG SRC="" alt="See Explanation. Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available."/a /DIV DIV STYLE="max-width:40em"P P b The Whale and the Hockey Stick /b br b Credit a href=""Copyright/a: /b Josef Poepsel, Stefan Binnewies (a href=""Capella Observatory/a) P p b Explanation: /b a href=""NGC 4631/a is a big beautiful spiral galaxy a href=""seen edge-on/a (top right) only 25 million light-years away towards the small northern constellation a href=""Canes Venatici/a. This galaxy's slightly distorted wedge shape suggests to some a cosmic herring and to others the popular moniker of The Whale Galaxy. Either way, it is similar in size to our a href=""own Milky Way/a. In a href=" Galaxies/NGC4631.htm"this gorgeous color image/a, the Whale's dark interstellar dust clouds, yellowish core, and young blue star clusters are easy to spot. A companion galaxy, the small elliptical NGC 4627, appears above the Whale Galaxy. At the lower left is another distorted galaxy, the hockey stick-shaped a href=""NGC 4656/a. The distortions and mingling a href=""trails/a of gas detected at other wavelengths suggest that all three galaxies have had a href=""close encounters/a with each other in their past. The Whale Galaxy is also known to have spouted a halo of hot gas glowing a href=" press_071901.html"in x-rays/a. p P script type="text/javascript" digg_url =''; digg_skin = 'compact'; /script script src="" type="text/javascript"/script /DIV
(Via NASA)