Hubble sees the needle galaxy, edge-on and up close
The edgewise view into the Needle Galaxy shown here looks very similar to the view we have from our Solar System into the core of the Milky Way. In both cases ribbons of dust block some of the light coming from the galactic disc. To the lower right, the dust stands in even starker contrast against the copious yellow light from the star-filled central regions. NGC 4565s core is off camera to the lower right.
Studying galaxies like NGC 4565 helps astronomers learn more about our home, the Milky Way. At a distance of only about 40 million light-years, NGC 4565 is relatively close by, and being seen edge-on makes it a particularly useful object for comparative study. As spiral galaxies go, NGC 4565 is a whopper about a third larger than the Milky Way.
The image was taken with Hubbles Advanced Camera for Surveys and has a field of view of approximately 3.4 by 3.4 arcminutes.
A version of this image was entered into the Hubbles Hidden Treasures Image Processing Competition by contestant Josh Barrington.