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.

Published: May 30, 2020 at 8:14 am
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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.

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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