Spiral Galaxy Shakes Off Cosmic Dust in Photo

Barred Spiral Galaxy Snyder
Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6952 appears surrounded by dust from the Integrated Flux Nebula in this image. This photo was taken by Bill Snyder at Heavens Mirror Observatory, Sierra Nevada Mountains, CA. in August 2012. (Image credit: Bill Snyder Astrophotography)

Surrounded by dust from the Integrated Flux Nebula, Barred Spiral Galaxy NGC 6952 shines brightly in this stunning night sky photo.

Photographer Bill Snyder took this photo at Heavens Mirror Observatory, Sierra Nevada Mountains, Calif., in August 2012.

To make this image, Snyder used a Planewave 17 inch scope with Apogee U16 camera and astrodon LRGB fiters.

NGC 6952 is about 60 to 80 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Cephus. It’s called a Barred Spiral Galaxy because it has a bar-like structure in the center. This bulge contains stars, gas and dust that extend from the nucleus of the galaxy. It’s also surrounded by gas and dust from the Integrated Flux Nebula, a complex structure that shines from the diffuse light of all stars in our Milky Way galaxy.

Editor's note: If you have an amazing skywatching photo you'd like to share for a possible story or image gallery, please contact managing editor Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com.

Follow SPACE.com on Twitter @Spacedotcom. We're also onFacebook & Google+.

Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

Contributing Writer and Producer

Nina Sen is a freelance writer and producer who covered night sky photography and astronomy for Space.com. She began writing and producing content for Space.com in 2011 with a focus on story and image production, as well as amazing space photos captured by NASA telescopes and other missions. Her work also includes coverage of amazing images by astrophotographers that showcase the night sky's beauty.