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Astronomy Picture m74 is featured on NASA's APOD of the Day

2011-04-06 09:01
Partial view of the M74 spiral galaxy

Partial view of the M74 spiral galaxy

On April 6th, the spiral galaxy M74 was chosen as NASA’s “Astronomy Picture of the Day”. Jose Luis Lamadrid, technician at OAJ (Observatorio Astrofísico de Javalambre), in collaboration with colleagues from the Documentary School of Astrophotography (DSA), obtained this image during one of the observation runs devoted to astrophotography at Calar Alto Astronomical Observatory (CAHA).

As part of the initiatives carried out in Spain during the International Year of Astronomy, and with the support of RECTA (Red de Espacios de Divulgación Científica y Técnica de Andalucía) and CAHA, the astrophotographers were granted access to professional telescopes in order to obtain images of known objects.

Remarkable for its symmetry, M74 constitutes one of the best examples of a spiral galaxy as its orientation allows for the clear observation of its spiral structure. Situated in the Pisces constellation, M74 is considered one of the most difficult objects to observe in the Messier catalogue.