VISTAs Infrared View of the Sculptor Galaxy NGC 253
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VISTA’s Infrared View of the Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253)

June 17, 2010
NGC 253 is one of the closest galaxies to our own. It is a bright spiral that lies about 13 million light-years from Earth in the southern constellation of Sculptor and is noted for being a starburst galaxy with very vigorous star formation and very dusty spiral arms. In the infrared, the rich dust clouds in the galaxy's spiral arms become nearly transparent and a whole host of cool red stars that are otherwise invisible can be seen. The VISTA infrared images were taken through Y, Z, J, Ks and narrowband filters. The field of view is about 38 by 25 arcminutes.

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