Hubble Galaxy Week
The image taken by the Hubble Space Telescope is now the last of six new images taken as part of Hubble Galaxy Week. NASA released it in October.
NGC 685 is located in the constellation Eridanus, about 58 million light-years from Earth. What’s special about the galaxy is that it appears to be rotating like a top. This galaxy was discovered in 1834 by the well-known astronomer John Herschel, although all early observations assumed that it was an apparently round galaxy.
Astronomers believe that NGC 685 could host at least 100 million stars. In comparison, the Milky Way Galaxy is thought to be made up of about 100 billion stars.
Although the size and number of stars are different, both galaxies share an interesting common feature: they have a central bar running through their galactic core. In the latest image of NGC 685, you can see this band of red dots extending horizontally within the smallest circle of gas and dust.
Lots of stars in a small area
“Its intense glow comes from many stars concentrated in a relatively small area,” NASA’s statement said.
Previous research has found that such bars are present in about two-thirds of spiral galaxies. Astronomers say gas and other stellar material is being flung through these bars into the cores of galaxies, a sign that the galaxy’s “formative years” are over.
Although not much work has been done on NGC 685 itself, studying barred spiral galaxies like this gives astronomers insight into how galaxies evolve.
- NASA publishes new images of the galaxy NGC 685
- NGC 685 has spiral arms that are curved and rotate like a top
- The galaxy was discovered in 1834 by astronomer John Herschel
- NGC 685 could host at least 100 million stars
- Both galaxies, NGC 685 and the Milky Way, have central bars
- Bars in spiral galaxies mark end of ‘formative years’
- Study of NGC 685 sheds light on the evolution of the galaxy
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”