Above and Beyond: Spiral Galaxy NGC 1309

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NGC 1309 is 100 million light-years away from Earth. But look past it, and you'll see a multitude of even more distant galaxies. 

Light and Distance
Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach
All images, illustrations, and videos courtesy of NASA except:
·       Illustration of radiation from everyday objects courtesy of STScI
·       Illustration of electromagnetic waves courtesy of STScI
·       Photo of crepuscular rays courtesy of Wikimedia user Fir0002/Flagstaffotos
·       Photo of snake courtesy of Mark Mannetti
·       Infrared image of a mouse courtesy of Julius Lab, UCSF
·       Photo of snow geese and the Moon courtesy of Brocken Inaglory
·       James Webb Space Telescope illustrations by STScI/G. Bacon
·       Ariane 5 rocket launch image ©2008 ESA – CNES – Arianespace/Photo by Optique Video CSG
·       James Webb Space Telescope animation by STScI/G. Bacon
·       Animation of traveling light pulses courtesy of Footage Island
·       Alpha Centauri animation courtesy of ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)
·       Andromeda Galaxy image courtesy of ESA/Hubble & Digitized Sky Survey 2; acknowledgment: Davide De Martin (ESA/Hubble)
·       Illustration of galaxies at different distances by STScI/A. Field
·       Cosmic redshift animation courtesy of ESO
·       Simulated JWST galaxy field image courtesy of STScI
·       Taurus constellation drawing from Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia by Johannes Hevelius, courtesy of the United States Naval Observatory
Written by Tracy Vogel
Designed by Marc Lussier 
Music courtesy of Associated Production Music

An image of spiral galaxy N G C 13 09, a swirl of pale white and yellow clouds spinning around a central bright glowing orange point. The clouds are filled with stars and surrounded by the star-filled blackness of space. Text, This is spiral galaxy N G C 13 09, 100 million light years away from Earth. Look past it and you’ll see a multitude of even more distant galaxies. Zooming out, the space behind the galaxy contains smaller spirals and spheres in the distance.


The light from NGC 13 09 traveled 100 million years to reach Earth. The light from the galaxies behind N G C 13 09 traveled even longer, some of it for billions of years.