Astronomers using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have snapped an incredibly detailed image of the large double-barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365.
This Hubble image shows NGC 1365, a double-barred spiral galaxy 55.4 million light-years away in the constellation of Fornax. The color image is made up of observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in the ultraviolet, near-infrared, and optical parts of the spectrum. The image was made through five filters. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / J. Lee / PHANGS-HST Team / Judy Schmidt, www.geckzilla.com.
Otherwise known as the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy, LEDA 13179, AGC 22699, ESO 358-17 and IRAS 03317-3618, the galaxy has a diameter of 200,000 light-years.
NGC 1365 is a striking example of its type, the prominent bar passing through the central core of the galaxy, and the spiral arms emerging from the ends of the bar.
“NGC 1365’s blue and fiery orange swirls show us where stars have just formed and the dusty sites of future stellar nurseries,” Hubble astronomers said.
“At the outer edge of the image, enormous star-forming regions can be seen.”
“The bright, light-blue regions indicate the presence of hundreds of baby stars that formed from coalescing gas and dust within the galaxy’s outer arms.”
The new image was captured as part of a joint survey with the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA).
“The survey will help us understand how the diversity of galaxy environments observed in the nearby Universe influence the formation of stars and star clusters,” the researchers said.
“Expected to image over 100,000 gas clouds and star-forming regions beyond our Milky Way Galaxy, the PHANGS survey is expected to uncover and clarify many of the links between cold gas clouds, star formation and the overall shape and morphology of galaxies.”