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Space Pictures / Galaxy in Pisces (Original)

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Title: M74, Galaxy in Pisces

Source: Kitt Peak, NOAO/T.A. Boroson

Information: The nearby face-on galaxy NGC 628 (M74) is about 33 million light years (10 megaparsecs) away. It has multiple-arm spiral structure, much like M101. Although its optical appearance is relatively normal, NGC 628 is remarkable in having a huge flat halo of neutral hydrogen, extending over a region more than three times the diameter of this image. The structure of this halo is thought to be a warped disk, based on velocity measurements of the hydrogen by radio telescopes. This image was made using a 2048 x 2048 pixel CCD detector on the Kitt Peak 0.9-meter telescope. Exposures were taken through red, green and blue filters independently, and then combined using a film recording device. The exposure time was about 100 minutes in total. The field of view shown in this image is about 12 arc minutes on an edge.