Messier 74 (also known as NGC 628 and Phantom Galaxy) is a large spiral galaxy in the equatorial constellation Pisces. It is about 32 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy contains two clearly defined spiral arms and is therefore used as an archetypal example of a grand design spiral galaxy. It is a galaxy with low surface brightness. Its relatively large angular (that is, apparent) size and the galaxy’s face-on orientation make it an ideal object for professional astronomers who want to study spiral arm structure and spiral density waves. It is estimated that M74 hosts about 100 billion stars.
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