A 16 million pixel camera takes some of the sharpest galaxy pictures you've ever seen

The Lowell Observatory's newest toy, the Discovery Channel Telescope, has finally gone online — and they've released super-snazzy pictures of three of our favorite galaxies to celebrate. Above is M109, a barred spiral galaxy 84 million light years from Earth.

The 16-million-pixel camera is already taking some pretty sweet images — but it'll be even better when they add the impressive-sounding Large Monolithic Imager (LMI) from the National Science Foundation, which will add a 36-million-pixel capability.

Here are the other two great galaxy pictures, showing the Sombrero Galaxy and the Whirlpool Galaxy respectively:

A 16 million pixel camera takes some of the sharpest galaxy pictures you've ever seen

A 16 million pixel camera takes some of the sharpest galaxy pictures you've ever seen

[Discovery News, via MSNBC]