No matter how wry your sense of humour or how pessimistic your outlook, you have to give into your human capacity for awe at some point. And it might as well be now because this photo is amazing. The spiral galaxy, M74, consists of about 100 billion stars and is 32 million light-years away if you’re headed toward Pisces. And I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we wish we were.
M74 is an Sc galaxy, meaning that it has “loosely wound spiral arms, clearly resolved into individual stellar clusters and nebulae.” This image was created with data recorded in 2003 and 2005 by Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, and depicts the galaxy in all its 30,000 light-years-across glory. A major component of the data is hydrogen emissions, which create the patches of red glow. It’s kind of hard to contextualise or grasp, but M74 is really out in the universe right now, just chillin’.
That blows my mind. [Astronomy Picture of the Day]