A hypnotic golden spiral | ESO

This image features the spectacular galaxy NGC 4254, also known as Messier 99. It’s an example of a grand design spiral galaxy, featuring strong, prominent, well-defined arms that wrap clearly around the galaxy’s centre.

Messier 99 is located 49 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Coma Berenices. Here it was imaged in exquisite detail by the Multi-Unit Spectroscopic Explorer (MUSE) on ESO’s Very Large Telescope (VLT). It is a combination of observations conducted in different colours, or wavelengths, of light, showing clouds of gas ionised by newly born stars. Hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur gas are shown in red, blue and orange respectively.

The image was taken as part of the Physics at High Angular resolution in Nearby GalaxieS (PHANGS) project, which is making high-resolution observations of nearby galaxies across all wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum to understand the life-cycle of star formation in galaxies.


About the Image

Id: potw2211a
Type: Observation
Release date: 14 March 2022, 06:00
Size: 1172 x 800 px

About the Object


Position (RA): 12 18 50.64
Position (Dec): 14&deg 25′ 22.80″
Field of view: 3.91 x 2.67 arcminutes
Orientation: North is 90.0° left of vertical

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