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The spiral galaxy NGC 6744 in Pavo

Date created: 2001-04-04

Tags: galaxy, spiral


This beautiful galaxy is about 25 million light years away in the direction of Pavo, a constellation of the southern hemisphere winter. It sits in a rich starfield, and is strongly inclined to our line of sight. NGC 6744 is believed to one of the most Milky Way-like of all the nearby spirals, with fluffy (flocculent) spiral arms and a large and distinctly elongated nucleus. It also has other similarities to the Milky Way that are not visible here (but seen on a deep image), with at least one distorted companion galaxy superficially similar to one of the Magellanic Clouds. This image has been deliberately made wide field, to show that we see this distant Milky Way look-alike much as any of its inhabitants might see us, through a veil of stars in their own galaxy.

Photograph made from plates taken in August 1992.
Top left is NE. Image width is about 2 degrees.

Credit: David Malin

© Australian Astronomical Observatory