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"Crown of Thorns" Galaxy Photographed in Space

News Release/Teresa Neumann : Apr 10, 2009 : European Space Agency/Science Daily

The swirling rings of dust lanes around the ancient galaxy's core has been dubbed the "Crown of Thorns."

Here's a breathtaking picture fitting for Good Friday...if pictures of outer-space are your kind of thing.

Crown of thorns in spaceThe NASA/ESA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of NGC 7049, a mysterious looking galaxy on the border between spiral and elliptical galaxies. The swirling rings of dust lanes around its ancient core has been dubbed the "Crown of Thorns." (Photo Credit: NASA, ESA and W. Harris McMaster University, Ontario, Canada)

According to the European Space Agency, NGC 7049 is found in the constellation of Indus, and is the brightest of a cluster of galaxies, a so-called Brightest Cluster Galaxy (BCG). Typical BCGs are some of the oldest and most massive galaxies. They provide excellent opportunities for astronomers to study the elusive globular clusters lurking within.

The image was taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys on Hubble, which is optimized to hunt for galaxies and galaxy clusters "in the remote and ancient Universe."

The constellation of Indus, or the Indian, is one of the least conspicuous in the southern sky. It was named in the 16th century by Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius from observations made by Dutch navigator Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Dutch explorer Frederick de Houtman.

Check out the photo by following the link provided.



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