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"NGC7331 in Pegasus" 11/11/99 Kitt Peak, Arizona
(Image by Adam Block, Willis Greiner and Cheryl Price. Copyright NOAO, all rights reserved.)

This CCD image was obtained using a 16" Meade Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope operating at f/6.3. The camera used was a SBIG ST-8; sky chart software was Software Bisque's The Sky, acquisition and image manipulation software was Cyanogen's Maxim DL. Three 300-second exposures were taken and combined to form a raw composite image. Dark and flat-field exposures were taken and applied to the raw images. A maximum-entropy algorithm was then applied to the combined data, resulting in the final image shown here.

NGC7331 is a beautiful spiral galaxy thought to be similar to our own. It is in a region of the sky that displays many galaxies; look closely and note at least three other small associated galaxies in this one photograph. Galaxies like NGC7331 are separate "island universes" similar to but at great distances from our own galaxy, the Milky Way. This galaxy is thought to be about 50 million light years from us; this implies that its light that we are now viewing left NGC7331 50 million years ago, soon after the demise of the dinosaurs and 45 million years before the first proto-human emerged to look skyward!

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All images and narratives copyright Willis Greiner, all rights reserved.

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