Spitzer views an edge-on galaxy in infrared

The Spitzer Space Telescope has captured an image of a galaxy that appears edge-on when viewed from Earth.

Published: October 4, 2019 at 9:44 am
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You could be forgiven for thinking that we see all galaxies as beautiful spiral structures, but in reality the Universe is not so accommodating.

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This thin red strip is a galaxy 44 million lightyears away that appears side-on when viewed from Earth, hiding its intricate form.

It was captured by the Spitzer Space Telescope, which views the Universe in infrared to give astronomers a unique perspective on the workings of the cosmos.

For example, the red colour in this image is starlight absorbed by cosmic dust, then reemitted and detected by Spitzer in infrared.

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Authors

Iain Todd, BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Staff Writer. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.

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