Picture of the Day: A Galaxy That Looks Like a UFO

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The above galaxy, NGC 2683, is shaped much like our own, the Milky Way, a structure of galaxies known as barred spiral. But, because of the angle that NGC 2683 appears at from Earth, we catch the galaxy's side view, which vaguely resembles the imagined shape of a UFO saucer. For this reason, astronomers jokingly call it the "UFO Galaxy." In the above image, which combines both visible-light and infrared-light data from Hubble, small patches of young stars appear in light blue clusters, mapping the galaxy's star-forming regions. The galaxy is about 16 million light years away.

Below, recent Pictures of the Day:

Image: NASA.

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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees the Business Channel. She was previously an associate editor at The Wilson Quarterly.

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