This smattering of celestial sequins may be a spiral nebula named NGC 4455, located within the northern constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice’s Hair). This might sound like an odd name for a constellation — and actually it’s somewhat unusual. It’s the sole modern constellation to be named in honor of a true person from history: Queen Berenice II of Egypt.
The story of Queen Berenice II is a stimulating one. A ruling queen of the traditional Greek city of Cyrene in modern-day Libya, and later a queen of Ptolemaic Egypt through her marriage to her cousin Ptolemy III Euergetes, Berenice became known for sacrificing locks of her hair as an offering to make sure her husband’s safe return from battle. Her husband did indeed return safely, and her hair, which she had left during a Zephyrium temple, had disappeared — it had apparently been stolen and placed among the celebs .
Should it’s located in NGC 4455, it traveled an extended way. The galaxy is about 45 million light-years away. This image was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.
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