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A galaxy called Mirach’s Ghost

The bright star here is Beta Andromedae, aka Mirach. Look closely, and you’ll also see Mirach’s Ghost, a faint galaxy, in the upper right of the photo.

View larger. | Credit and Copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis at perseus.gr

View larger. | Star Mirach, aka Beta Andromedae and the galaxy known as NGC 404, or Mirach’s Ghost. Credit and copyright: Anthony Ayiomamitis at perseus.gr. Used with permission.

The bright star in this image is Beta Andromedae, whose proper name is Mirach. Look more closely, and you’ll also see Mirach’s Ghost, a round, faint, fuzzy galaxy in the upper right of the photo.

This galaxy is also called NGC 404. It happens to lie nearly along our line-of-sight to the star Mirach, which is a relatively bright star and makes photographs like this one a challenge. This beautiful image is by Anthony Ayiomamitis at perseus.gr.. It was the Astronomy Picture of the Day on October 28, 2010.

Mirach can guide you to two other galaxies, too, the Great Galaxy in the constellation Andromeda and the face-on spiral galaxy in the constellation Triangulum. Read about Mirach as a guide to three galaxies.

Deborah Byrd