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Dust in Galaxies - Dust in Galaxies All right surely you...

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Dust in Galaxies All right, surely you didn't expect me to pass up putting that particular image here, did you? The effects of absorbing material in galaxies were recognized before the physical nature of galaxies became clear. A study by H.D. Curtis published in 1918 (sadly, our library doesn't have the Lick Observatory Bulletins from that time) compared photographs of spirals in an obvious inclination sequence, showing that a band of obscuring material lies in the disk plane. A cheap replica of this demonstration is shown in the sequence at right, taken with the same venerable
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Crossley telescope in the 1980s (using much lower contrast plates and with San Jose much brighter), but it makes the point anyway. It became clear, especially from comparing with nearby edge-on systems such as NGC 891, that this layer is exactly what we see in our view of the Milky Way (as shown in the magnificent Lund all-sky mosaic . Compare to the NOT image of NGC 891 shown below, taken in red light.
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