A sleepy galaxy with an empty heart
Blue stars glitter on the feathery arms of flocculent galaxy NGC 2775.
The fluffy spiral arms and the curiously large empty region at its heart are the signs of a sleepy galaxy in repose.
Flocculent galaxy NGC 2775, located 67 million lightyears away in the constellation of Cancer, has its furious period of star production long behind it, leaving a vacant centre where its concentrated reserves of gas were converted to stars long ago.
The woolly, ill-defined spiral arms, across which are scattered millions of blue stars, are what give ‘flocculent’ type galaxies their name; in contrast to the distinct, continuous arms of grand design spirals.
For more on galactic astronomy, read our guide to galaxies.
Observatory Hubble Space Telescope
Image release date 2 July 2020
Image credit ESA/Hubble & NASA/J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)
Jane Williamson is a science journalist and writer.