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February Friday 24, 2017 at 14:35
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Far beyond the localgroup of galaxies lies NGC 3621 ,some 22 million light-years away.Found in the multi-headed southern constellation Hydra ,the winding spiral arms of this gorgeous island universe are loaded withluminous blue star clusters, pinkish starforming regions,and dark dust lanes.Still, for astronomers NGC 3621 has not been just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy .Some of its brighter stars have been used asstandard candles to establish important estimates of extragalactic distances and the scaleof the Universe .This beautiful image of NGC 3621 ,is a composite of space- and ground-based telescopedata.It traces the loose spiral arms far from the galaxy's brightercentral regions for some 100,000 light-years.Spiky foreground stars in our own Milky Way Galaxy andeven more distant background galaxies are scattered acrossthe colorful skyscape.

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