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NASA has released a stunning spiral galaxy image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope. It is located in the Leo constellation; NGC 2903 depicts a number of stars and gas nebulae, all spiraling around a center point in space.
According to NASA “few of the universe’s residents are as iconic as the spiral galaxy. These limelight-hogging celestial objects combine whirling, pinwheeling arms with scatterings of sparkling stars, glowing bursts of gas, and dark, weaving lanes of cosmic dust, creating truly awesome scenes — especially when viewed through a telescope such as the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. In fact, this image from Hubble frames a perfect spiral specimen: the stunning NGC 2903”.
The study helped astronomers to better understand the relationship between the black holes that lurk at the cores of galaxies like these, and the rugby-ball-shaped bulge of stars, gas and dust at the galaxy’s center — such as that seen in this image.
NGC 2903 is located about 30 million light-years away and was researched as part of a Hubble survey of the central regions of roughly 145 nearby disk galaxies.
This study aimed to help astronomers better understand the relationship between the black holes that lurk at the cores of galaxies like these, and the rugby-ball-shaped bulge of stars, gas and dust at the galaxy’s center — such as that seen in this image.
What is Spiral Galaxy?
Galaxies are categorized according to their visual morphology as elliptical, spiral, or irregular. In a spiral galaxy, the stars, gas and dust are gathered in spiral arms that spread outward from the galaxy’s center. Most spiral galaxies consist of a flat, rotating disk containing stars, gas and dust, and a central concentration of stars known as the bulge.
Our own Milky Way is a barred spiral, although the bar itself is difficult to observe from the Earth’s current position within the galactic disc.
Image credit; NASA
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