Hubble studies a spectacular spiral


The galaxy NGC 1961 unfurls its magnificent spiral arms in this image just released by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Brilliant blue regions of bright young stars dot the dusty spiral arms that wind around the glowing center of the galaxy.

NGC 1961 is an intermediate spiral and a type of galaxy AGN, or active galactic nuclei. Intermediate spirals lie between “barred” and “unbarred” spiral galaxies, meaning they do not have a well-defined bar of stars at their centers, reports NASA.

AGN galaxies have very bright centers that often outshine the rest of the galaxy at certain wavelengths of light. These galaxies likely have supermassive black holes at their cores that produce bright jets and winds that shape their evolution. NGC 1961 is a fairly common type of AGN that emits low energy charged particles.

The data used to create this image comes from two observing initiatives. One studied previously unobserved Arp galaxies, while the other looked at the progenitors and explosions of a variety of supernovae.

Located about 180 million light years awayNGC 1961 resides in the constellation Camelopardalis.

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