#BAFact: IC 342 would be one of the most spectacular galaxies in our sky if it weren’t obscured by dust.


IC 342 is a gorgeous face-on spiral just 10 million light years away - pretty close as the Universe goes. But our view of it is heavily obscured by dust inside our own galaxy, making it a difficult object to photograph. My friend Travis Rector has taken this amazing shot of it, though, and you can get higher-res versions here: http://www.noao.edu/image_gallery/html/im1032.html It's also incredible in the infrared: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2012/04/03/desktop-project-part-9-again-i-see-ic-342/

[Image credit: T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, H. Schweiker/WIYN and NOAO/AURA/NSF]
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Zooming in and exploring the 4000px version is pretty sweet.  To be clear, that image was obtained with a 4m telescope.
Someone get a vacuum cleaner and clean up all that dust.

It's already in a vacuum you say?  Darn.
just try and imagine how big something like that really is
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