Hubble snaps this beautiful spiral galaxy about 230 million light-years away


Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 27-05-2022 09:54 IST | Created: 26-05-2022 20:03 IST
Hubble snaps this beautiful spiral galaxy about 230 million light-years away
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Bellini et al.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has beamed back spectacular images of the universe in over 30 years of operation in space and the mission teams keep on sharing these out-of-the-world pictures. One such picture is of NGC 1706, a spiral galaxy, about 230 million light-years away, in the constellation of Dorado (the Swordfish).

Spiral galaxies typically have a complex structure - a rotating disc with spiral 'arms' that curve out from a dense central region - and they are surrounded by sparsely populated halos, roughly spherical regions above and below the plane of the discs.

This Hubble image of NGC 1706 was originally released in 2019. It belongs to something called a galaxy group. According to NASA, around half of the known galaxies in the universe belong to some kind of galaxy group - a collection of up to 50 galaxies which are gravitationally bound and hence relatively close to each other - making them incredibly common cosmic structures.

Our home galaxy Milky Way belongs to the Local Group, which also contains the Andromeda galaxy. Galaxy groups are the smallest of galactic gatherings; others are clusters, which can comprise hundreds of thousands of galaxies bound loosely together by gravity, and subsequent superclusters, which bring together numerous clusters into a single entity.

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