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No, this red beam in space isn’t a light saber! It’s a galaxy, far,…

No, this red beam in space isn’t a light saber! It’s a galaxy, far,…

No, this red beam in space isn’t a light saber! It’s a galaxy, far, far away — 44 million light-years away, to be exact. 

We often imagine galaxies as having massive spiral arms or thick disks of dust, but not all galaxies are oriented face-on as viewed from Earth. From our viewpoint, our Spitzer Space Telescope can detect this galaxy’s infrared light but can only view the entire galaxy on its side where we can’t see its spiral features. We know it has a diameter of roughly 60,000 light-years — a little more than half the diameter of our own Milky Way galaxy.

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