Here is your weekly reminder of Psalm 19 — the Needle Galaxy.
This galaxy, also known by its catalog name, NGC 4565, is about as fine an example of an edge-on spiral galaxy as you’ll ever see. If the Milky Way were to be seen at the same distance of 43 million light-years and on its edge, it would look very much like this.
The puffy part in the center is the bulge of the galaxy and the extended part is the disk. The dark strip running the length of the galaxy is a dust lane. Dust typically makes up about 10% of the gaseous stuff between the stars in the disk of a spiral galaxy, which doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough to block a lot of the intense starlight coming from the galaxy.