A face-on spiral galaxy hosting exploding stars

Spiral galaxy NGC 5468 is host to numerous exploding stars known as supernovae.

Published: March 14, 2020 at 8:31 am
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Spiral galaxy NGC 5468. Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al. / Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)
Spiral galaxy NGC 5468. Credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al. / Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

Spiral galaxy NGC 5468 is in a fortunate position from our perspective. It is face-on, giving astronomers on Earth a marvellous view of its intricate features: its bright core and twisting spiral arms, peppered with newborn stars glowing fiercely bright blue.

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This galaxy is the source of numerous exploding stars - known as supernovae - many of which have been observed by astronomers over the past 20 years.

Despite its distance of 130 million lightyears from Earth, this galaxy hasn't finished revealing its secrets.

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Observatory Hubble Space Telescope

Release date 2 December 2019

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Image credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al. / Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

Authors

Iain Todd, BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Iain ToddScience journalist

Iain Todd is BBC Sky at Night Magazine's Staff Writer. He fell in love with the night sky when he caught his first glimpse of Orion, aged 10.

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