Messier 77 is a barred spiral galaxy located 47 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Cetus. Measuring some 170,000 light-years in diameter, it is one of the largest galaxies included in the Messier Catalog. That’s almost double the size of the Milky Way! Its broad spiral arms hold more evolved yellow stars like our own Sun, but towards the core beats the heart of a new generation – a young stellar population.
You will also notice that the core of the galaxy is much much more brighter than the faint spiral arms. According to spectral analysis, Messier 77 has very broad emission lines, indicating that giant gas clouds are rapidly moving out of this galaxy’s core, at several hundreds of kilometers per second. This makes M77 a Seyfert Type II galaxy – one with an expanding core of starbirth.
This object is speeding away from us at 1100 kilometers per second.
I took this image over 3.5 hours. There were 27 images of 5 minutes each and 9 images of each color (Red, Blue & Green) of 3 minutes each. I then cropped this image by about 50%.