PHOTO OF THE WEEK
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

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.