A hidden galaxy seen through a sea of stars

A face-on spiral galaxy – IC 342 – is known at the “Hidden Galaxy” for good reason. It is located in the plane of the Milky Way and is seen lurking behind a multitude of relatively nearby stars in the direction of the constellation Camelopardalis.

Tom O’Donoghue and Olly Penrice (Republic of Ireland) captured this view from Étoile-Saint-Cyrice, France, using a Tech140 telescope and Atik 400ex camera with a 1000mm f/7 lens. A hydrogen-alpha filter was used to capture nebula emissions and single frames were stacked to bring out the galaxy’s spiral arms.

This image is one of those shortlisted in this year’s Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition, organised by the Royal Observatory Greenwich.

IC 342, a face-on spiral in the constellation Camelopardalis. Image: Tom O’Donoghue and Olly Penrice (Republic of Ireland)