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astronomicalwonders:

A Galaxy Edge On - NGC 891

Galaxy NGC 891, or Caldwell 23, is an edge-on unbarred spiral galaxy about 30 million light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It was discovered by William Herschel on October 6, 1784. The galaxy is a member of the NGC 1023 group of galaxies in the Local Supercluster.

NGC 891 looks as we think the Milky Way would look like when viewed edge-on (some astronomers have even noted how similar to NGC 891 our galaxy looks as seen from the Southern Hemisphere) and in fact both galaxies are considered very similar in terms of luminosity and size; studies of the dynamics of its molecular hydrogen have also proven the likely presence of a central bar. Despite this, recent high-resolution images of its dusty disk show unusual filamentary patterns. These patterns are extending into the halo of the galaxy, away from its galactic disk. Scientists presume that supernova explosions caused this interstellar dust to be thrown out of the galactic disk toward the halo.

Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble

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Emily Browning, for i-D magazine, pre-fall 2014.