Here’s Hubble doing what Hubble does best.
Some of the Hubble Space Telescope’s most famous and stunning images are of distant galaxies, and this one is drop-dead gorgeous too.
This new image features the Grand Design Spiral, NGC 3631, which is located about 53 million light-years away in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major.
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The “arms” of grand design spirals appear to wind around and into the galaxy’s nucleus.
A ‘Grand Design’ spiral galaxy is a type of spiral galaxy with prominent and well-defined spiral arms. The arms of this galaxy look as though they are winding around and spiraling out from the galaxy’s center, like a classic spiral galaxy. Other spiral galaxies might have multiple arms or be more “flocculent” or fluffy. But about 10% of spiral galaxies are considered Grand Design Spirals.
Take a closer look at NGC 3631 and you can see bright star forming regions along the inner part of the spiral arms, and the new stars show up as a bright blue (remember the old astronomical adage: new and blue, red and dead.)
The image includes data taken with Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.
Lead image caption: Image Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Filippenko (University of California – Berkeley), and D. Sand (University of Arizona); Image Processing: G. Kober (NASA Goddard/Catholic University of America)