Home Science & Nature New Hubble image of 'fluffy' galaxy is spectacular

New Hubble image of ‘fluffy’ galaxy is spectacular

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope took an image of this fluffy-looking galaxy, known as NGC 2775.

Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST TeamAcknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

By Kellen Beck

The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA released a new image Thursday taken using the Hubble Space Telescope and showing a very detailed look at the unique spiral galaxy known as NGC 2775. 

The ESA described this galaxy as flocculent, meaning it has a woolly, feathery, or fluffy appearance, which is a very apt description considering the arms spiraling out from its center look like they’re made of dog fur dotted with millions of blue stars.

A more comprehensive look at NGC 2775 with its fluffy arms and wide circular void at its center.

Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST TeamAcknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

These furry arms suggest that there hasn’t been much in the way of star formation in this galaxy for a very long time, according to the ESA. The arms are made up of gas clouds that have been spread by the rotation of the galaxy.

NGC 2775 has a notably wide “galactic bulge” at its center which is pretty much completely devoid of star formations. Earlier in its life, this galaxy’s center would have been filled with gas that was converted into stars, which you can see has all been pushed out and away from its center in this image. Still though, it’s thought that clusters of young, hot, blue stars that can be seen in the arms can trigger star formations in the gas around them.

This galaxy is located in the Gemini constellation, according to The Sky Live, which also contains an older image of the galaxy with no real details visible. It shows just how powerful the aging Hubble Space Telescope still is, even as its successor preps for a March 2021 launch.

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