Hubble spies an intermediate spiral galaxy

The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a galaxy that fills the gap between barred spirals and unbarred spirals.

Galaxy NGC 5861, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.
Galaxy NGC 5861, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.

This galaxy, named NGC 5861, lies about 85 million lightyears away in the constellation of Libra. It’s an intermediate spiral galaxy, which means its shape is somewhere between a barred spiral galaxy, like our Milky Way, and an unbarred spiral galaxy.

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Barred spiral galaxies like our home galaxy are so-called because they appear to have a bar-like structure of stars and gas running through their centre.

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Observatory Hubble Space Telescope

Release date 11 May 2020

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Image credit ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.