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Hubble's Hidden Galaxy
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Name: IC 342, Caldwell 5, Hidden galaxy
Description: Spiral galaxy
Position (J2000): RA 3h 46m 48.55s Dec 68° 5' 46.21"
Constellation: Camelopardalis
Distance: 11 million light years
Visual Magnitude: 9.1
Angular size: 21.4 × 20.9 arcmin
Field of view: 0.33 x 0.33 arcminutes
Orientation: North is 10.2° left of vertical
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Release date: July 3, 2017

2011 image:       G1109
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IC 342 is a challenging cosmic target. Although it is bright, the galaxy sits near the equator of the Milky Way's galactic disc, where the sky is thick with glowing cosmic gas, bright stars, and dark, obscuring dust. In order for astronomers to see the intricate spiral structure of IC 342, they must gaze through a large amount of material contained within our own galaxy - no mean feat! As a result IC 342 is relatively difficult to spot and image, giving rise to its intriguing nickname: the "Hidden Galaxy".

Located very close (in astronomical terms!) to the Milky Way, this sweeping spiral galaxy would be among the brightest in the sky were it not for its dust-obscured location. The galaxy is very active, as indicated by the range of colors visible in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image, depicting the very central region of the galaxy. A beautiful mixture of hot, blue star-forming regions, redder, cooler regions of gas, and dark lanes of opaque dust can be seen, all swirling together around a bright core. In 2003, astronomers confirmed this core to be a specific type of central region known as an HII nucleus - a name that indicates the presence of ionized hydrogen - that is likely to be creating many hot new stars.

From Wikipedia:

IC 342 (also known as Caldwell 5) is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis, located relatively close to the Milky Way. Despite its size and actual brightness, its location in dusty areas near the galactic equator makes it difficult to observe, leading to the nickname "The Hidden Galaxy", though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. The dust makes it difficult to determine its precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 Mly to about 11 Mly.
The galaxy was discovered by William Frederick Denning in 1892. It is one of the brightest in the IC 342/Maffei Group, one of the closest galaxy groups to the Local Group. Edwin Hubble first thought it to be in the Local Group, but it was later determined not to be a member.
In 1935, Harlow Shapley found that it was wider than the full moon, and by angular size the third-largest spiral galaxy then known, smaller only than the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and the Triangulum Galaxy (M33). (Modern estimates are more conservative, giving the apparent size as one-half to two-thirds the diameter of the full moon). It has an H II nucleus.