Pavo

In the image, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and processed by Judy Schmidt (https://twitter.com/SpaceGeck), you can see the sparkly irregular galaxy IC 4710 in the constellation of Pavo (The Peacock, https://goo.gl/6GQKNp), about 34 million light-years away from Earth.

The image is also showing some some foreground stars with nice diffraction spikes.

IC 4710 was discovered on August 18th, 1900, by the American astronomer DeLisle Stewart (https://goo.gl/tRLvFN).

Take a look at the full-size version here:
https://flic.kr/p/Qr8yjy

Diffraction spikes

In the image you can see several stars with very pronounced spikes in the form of a cross. These spikes are called diffraction spikes and are caused by the struts that support Hubble’s secondary mirror (https://goo.gl/zFd42g). The light is being diffracted around those support struts, generating the cross-formed spikes. They are only visible around point sources where a lot of light is concentrated in one small spot. Read more on it here:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diffraction_spike

Image credit: IC 4710 Judy Schmidt based on Hubble Space Telescope data by NASA/ESA https://flic.kr/p/Qr8yjy CC BY 2.0 https://goo.gl/sZ7V7x

Take a look at more of Judy’s work here:

I recommend you take a look at her website http://geckzilla.com/ and her Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/geckzilla/ to see more of the many beautiful images Judy processed.2514C278-BDCD-4D67-B94F-310391CCC12F

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