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Astronomers Discover Milky Way’s Twin

June 1, 2011

Astronomers have discovered another galaxy about 30 million light years away that looks like a giant Milky Way “clone”.

The galaxy would be identical to the Milky Way if its diameter was not twice that of the Milky Way.

“This view could almost be a picture postcard of our own Milky Way, taken and sent by an extragalactic friend, as this galaxy closely resembles our own,” the European Southern Observatory (ESO) said in a statement.

The galaxy lies about 30 million light years away, in the constellation Pavo.

The NGC 6744 galaxy was discovered by using a 7-foot telescope at La Silla, Chile.

The image was created from exposures taken through four different filters that passed blue, yellow-green and red light and the glow coming from hydrogen gas.

Image Caption: This picture of the nearby galaxy NGC 6744 was taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at La Silla. The large spiral galaxy is similar to the Milky Way, making this image look like a picture postcard of our own galaxy sent from extragalactic space. The picture was created from exposures taken through four different filters that passed blue, yellow-green, red light, and the glow coming from hydrogen gas. These are shown in this picture as blue, green, orange and red, respectively. Credit: ESO

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