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Hubble spots irregular spiral galaxy NGC 5486

Hubble spots a star-forming spiral
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, C. Kilpatrick

The irregular spiral galaxy NGC 5486 hangs against a background of dim, distant galaxies in this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The tenuous disk of the galaxy is threaded through with pink wisps of star formation, which stand out from the diffuse glow of the galaxy's bright core.

While this particular galaxy has indistinct, meandering spiral arms, it lies close to the much larger Pinwheel Galaxy, which is one of the best-known examples of a 'grand design' spiral galaxy with prominent and well-defined . In 2006, Hubble captured an image of the Pinwheel Galaxy which was, at the time, the largest and most detailed photo of a spiral galaxy ever taken with Hubble.

NGC 5486 lies 110 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Ursa Major. This observation comes from a selection of Hubble images exploring debris left behind by Type II . As reach the end of their lives, they cast off huge amounts of gas and dust before ending their lives in titanic supernova explosions.

NGC 5486 hosted a supernova in 2004, and used the keen vision of Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys to explore the aftermath in the hopes of learning more about these explosive events.

Citation: Hubble spots irregular spiral galaxy NGC 5486 (2023, March 10) retrieved 19 May 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-03-hubble-irregular-spiral-galaxy-ngc.html
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