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HAWK-I image of NGC 5247
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Name: NGC 5247
Description: Spiral Galaxy
Position (J2000): RA 13h 38m 03.040s Dec -17° 53' 02.50?
Constellation: Virgo
Distance: 70 million light years
Field of view: 6.45 x 6.45 arcminutes
Visual magnitude: 10.5
Orientation: North is 0.1° left of vertical
Image Credit: ESO/P. Grosbøl
Release Date: October 27, 2010

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This image shows NGC 5247, an unbarred spiral galaxy located some 60-70 million light years away in the constellation Virgo. It most likely belongs to the Virgo Supercluster of galaxies; the same supercluster that hosts the Milky Way galaxy. This is a grand design spiral galaxy that displays no indications of distortion caused by interaction with other galaxies. The galaxy lies face-on towards Earth providing an excellent view of its pinwheel structure and multiple arms. It has two spiral arms that bifurcate after wrapping half way around the nucleus.

The image was made in infrared light with the HAWK-I camera on ESO's Very Large Telescope at Paranal Observatory in Chile. HAWK-I is one of the most powerful infrared imagers in the world, and this is one of the sharpest and most detailed pictures of this galaxy ever taken from Earth. The filters used were Y (shown here in blue), J (in light blue), H (in green), and K (in red). The field of view of the image is about 6.4 arcminutes