I find today's APOD a delightful picture with absolutely lovely colors and great details!
Look at Burbidge's Chain at left. Note that you can see little pink Hα emission nebulas inside them!
Note the green splotch in one of the galaxies, which I can't explain. And note that the two galaxies farthest to the lower left are very clearly interacting and exchanging matter!
You may note, too, a lot of small orange spots in the background. Many of them definitely have disks, which are more visible in the full size version of the APOD itself. So most of them are background galaxies, while one or a few others might be either faint foreground stars or bright red giant in the halo of NGC 247.
The picture showing parts of the disk of NGC 247 demonstrates the difficulty in spotting the difference between background galaxies and red supergiant stars in NGC 247 itself. We know that a stellar population of the kind we see in parts of NGC 247 is going to contain red giants, and a picture like today's APOD should definitely resolve some of them. But it is also clear that there are background galaxies in the picture, some of which are going to be very reddened by redshift reddening. So which of the orange points are stars and which are galaxies?
Jame D Wray said in his book The Color Atlas of Galaxies
that supergiant stars of all colors appear about equally bright in UBV images. Well, today's APOD is certainly not a UBV image, but I'm going to take my cue from James D Wray anyway and say that the orange points that appear much brighter than any individual blue stars in NGC 247 are probably not supergiant members of NGC 247, but instead background galaxies. If you look at the full size image of the APOD itself, you can more easily discern the fainter orange spots in the disk of NGC 247 that may be more likely to be red giant stars in NGC 247.
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