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EarthSky // Today's Image Release Date: Jul 04, 2014

Galactic fireworks

Here’s a new composite image of Messier 106, known for its strange spiral arms, located 23 million light years away.

This galactic fireworks display is taking place in Messier 106, a spiral galaxy like the Milky Way. This galaxy is famous for its two extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical, and radio light. These extra spiral arms aren't aligned with the plane of the galaxy.  Instead, they intersect it.

This galactic fireworks display is actually Messier 106, a spiral galaxy like our Milky Way. This distant galaxy is famous for its two extra spiral arms that glow in X-ray, optical, and radio light. These extra spiral arms aren’t aligned with the plane of the galaxy. Instead, they intersect it. Image via Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

A new composite of Messier 106 – aka NGC 4258 – features X-rays from Chandra (blue), radio waves from the VLA (purple), optical data from Hubble (yellow and blue), and infrared with Spitzer (red). This galaxy is located about 23 million light years from Earth.

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