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The Discovery Channel Telescope's first photo is of the barred spiral galaxy M109. Photo courtesy of the Lowell Observatory.

Spiral Galaxy from Discovery Channel Telescope

by / July 24, 2012

The Discovery Channel Telescope, located 40 miles southeast of Flagstaff at the Lowell Observatory's Happy Jack site, took its first photos in April and May -- of the barred spiral galaxy M109, which is approximately 83.5 ± 24 million light-years away in the constellation Ursa Major. The photos, one of which is shown above, were revealed on Saturday July 21 at the observatory's First Light Gala. 

The $53 million telescope is seven stories tall and aims to "push the frontier of knowledge and bring the marvels of the cosmos to millions." It will be Lowell Observatory's flagship telescope.