Hidden Galaxy

IC 342 is an intermediate spiral galaxy in the constellation Camelopardalis, located relatively close to the Milky Way. Despite its size and actual brightness, its location behind dusty areas near the galactic equator makes it difficult to observe, leading to the nickname "The Hidden Galaxy", though it can readily be detected even with binoculars. If the galaxy were not obscured, it would be visible by naked eye. The dust makes it difficult to determine its precise distance; modern estimates range from about 7 mega light-years to about 11 Mly. The galaxy was discovered by William Frederick Denning in 1892. It is one of the brightest in the IC 342/Maffei Group, one of the closest galaxy groups to the Local Group. Edwin Hubble first thought it to be in the Local Group, but it was later determined not to be a member.

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