Image: Grand swirls from Hubble

June 12, 2014
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Acknowledgement: Flickr user Det58

( —This new Hubble image shows NGC 1566, a beautiful galaxy located approximately 40 million light-years away in the constellation of Dorado (The Dolphinfish). NGC 1566 is an intermediate spiral galaxy, meaning that while it does not have a well-defined bar-shaped region of stars at its center—like barred spirals—it is not quite an unbarred spiral either.

The small but extremely bright nucleus of NGC 1566 is clearly visible in this image, a telltale sign of its membership of the Seyfert class of . The centers of such galaxies are very active and luminous, emitting strong bursts of radiation and potentially harboring that are many millions of times the mass of the sun.

NGC 1566 is not just any Seyfert galaxy; it is the second brightest Seyfert galaxy known. It is also the brightest and most dominant member of the Dorado Group, a loose concentration of galaxies that together comprise one of the richest galaxy groups of the southern hemisphere. This image highlights the beauty and awe-inspiring nature of this unique galaxy group, with NGC 1566 glittering and glowing, its bright nucleus framed by swirling and symmetrical lavender arms.

This image was taken by Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in the near-infrared part of the spectrum. A version of the image was entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition by Flickr user Det58.

Explore further: Hubble image of galaxies' El Dorado

Related Stories

Hubble image of galaxies' El Dorado

March 12, 2012

( -- NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has produced this beautiful image of the galaxy NGC 1483. NGC 1483 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the southern constellation of Dorado — the dolphinfish (or Mahi-mahi ...

Hubble view of a special spiral galaxy

October 24, 2013

( —The image, captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows part of NGC 3621, an unusual spiral galaxy located over 20 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (The Water Snake).

Image: Hubble peers at the heart of NGC 5793

March 24, 2014

( —This new Hubble image is centered on NGC 5793, a spiral galaxy over 150 million light-years away in the constellation of Libra. This galaxy has two particularly striking features: a beautiful dust lane and an ...

Image: Hubble sees a spiral home to exploding stars

April 9, 2014

( —In this  Hubble image, we can see an almost face-on view of the galaxy NGC 1084. At first glance, this galaxy is pretty unoriginal. Like the majority of galaxies that we observe it is a spiral galaxy, and, ...

NASA image: A hungry starburst galaxy

May 13, 2014

( —This new Hubble picture is the sharpest ever image of the core of spiral galaxy Messier 61. Taken using the High Resolution Channel of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, the central part of the galaxy is ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.