허블 우주망원경으로 촬영한 아래 사진은 약 1억 광년 떨어진 NGC 3370 은하다.
과학자들은 우리은하를 멀리서 볼 경우 이 은하와 비슷하게 보일 것으로 추측하고 있다. 이 사진에서 주의깊게 봐야 할 부분은, 중앙에 짧은 막대기 모양이 있다는 것이다. 즉 우리은하는 막대나선은하에 속한다는 뜻이다.
Spiral Galaxy NGC 3370 from Hubble
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Heritage (STScI/AURA); Acknowledgement: A. Reiss et al. (JHU)
Explanation: Is this what our own Milky Way Galaxy looks like from far away? Similar in size and grand design to our home Galaxy (although without the central bar), spiral galaxy NGC 3370 lies about 100 million light-years away toward the constellation of the Lion (Leo). Recorded above in exquisite detail by the Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, the big, beautiful face-on spiral is not only photogenic, but has proven sharp enough to study individual stars known as Cepheids. These pulsating stars have been used to accurately determine NGC 3370’s distance. NGC 3370 was chosen for this study because in 1994 the spiral galaxy was also home to a well studied stellar explosion — a Type Ia supernova. Combining the known distance to this standard candle supernova, based on the Cepheid measurements, with observations of supernovas at even greater distances, has helped to reveal the size and expansion rate of the entire Universe itself.