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This image snapped by ESO’s New Technology Telescope (NTT), a 3.58-m telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows the edge-on spiral galaxy Messier 98.
Messier 98 is located in the constellation Coma Berenices and is approximately 53.8 million LY from Earth.
Also known as M98, NGC 4192, LEDA 39028 and UGC 7231, Messier 98 was discovered in March 1781 by French astronomer Pierre Méchain.
Charles Messier measured the position of this galaxy and cataloged it in April 1781, immediately before finishing the third, final published edition of his catalog.
Messier 98 is a member of the Virgo Cluster, a group of more than 2,000 galaxies.
The galaxy has a blue shift and is approaching us at about 280,000 mph (125 km/s).
About 750 million years ago, Messier 98 may have interacted with another galaxy in the Virgo Cluster, NGC 4254.
In this striking image from NTT, the galaxy’s perimeter, rippled with gas and dust, is dotted with pockets of bluish light.
These are regions filled with very young stars, which are so hot that they glow with a bright blue hue.
These young stars are burning at such high temperatures that they are emitting fierce radiation, burning away some of the dense material that surrounds them.
In total, Messier 98 is thought to contain one trillion stars!
This image is a composite of separate exposures acquired by NTT’s EMMI (ESO Multi-Mode Instrument) spectrograph/imager. Three filters were used to sample various wavelengths.
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