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M74 10 18 2023 A

M74 10 18 2023 A

Bortle 6 with 6.5 hours. Hope to get more before she's gone for the year.

    Messier 74 (also known as NGC 628 and Phantom Galaxy) is a large spiral galaxy in the equatorial constellation Pisces. It is about 32 million light-years away from Earth.


    The galaxy contains two clearly defined spiral arms and is therefore used as an archetypal example of a grand design spiral galaxy. The galaxy's low surface brightness makes it the most difficult Messier object for amateur astronomers to observe. Its relatively large angular (that is, apparent) size and the galaxy's face-on orientation make it an ideal object for professional astronomers who want to study spiral arm structure and spiral density waves. It is estimated that M74 hosts about 100 billion stars.

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