M74 – Galaxy in Pisces

About 1/3rd smaller than our Milky Way galaxy, an island universe of about 100 billion stars, 32 million light-years away toward the constellation Pisces, M74 presents a gorgeous face-on view. The grand design of M74’s graceful spiral arms are traced by bright blue star clusters and dark cosmic dust lanes. Spanning about 30,000 light-years across the face of M74, this galaxy exemplifies how large galaxies have major and minor spiral arms containing billions of star.

For this image, I increased the individual sub-exposures to 30 minutes and did not bin RGB data. Total of 19 hours of exposure (23 luminances, 5 each of RGB – total 38 images of 30 minutes each).m74-1610a-web

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