Starry bulges yield secrets to galaxy growth (ground-based image)

This image shows how the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is feeding material into its central region, igniting massive star birth and probably causing its bulge of stars to grow. The material also is fueling a black hole in the galaxy's core. A galaxy's bulge is a central, football-shaped structure composed of stars, gas, and dust. This infrared image penetrates the dust in the galaxy to reveal more clusters of young stars. The bright blue dots represent young star clusters; the brightest of the red dots are young star clusters enshrouded in dust and visible only in the infrared image. The fainter red dots are older star clusters.

This image, taken by a ground-based telescope, displays the entire galaxy NGC 1365. But the telescope's resolution is not powerful enough to reveal the flurry of activity in the galaxy's hub.


Allan Sandage (The Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington) and John Bedke (Computer Sciences Corporation and the Space Telescope Science Institute


About the Image

Release date:6 October 1999, 15:00
Related releases:heic9902
Size:1732 x 2245 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS 03317-3618, NGC 1365
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Local Universe : Galaxy : Size : Giant
Local Universe : Galaxy : Component : Bulge
Distance:60 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
901.2 KB
Screensize JPEG
261.5 KB


Position (RA):3 33 36.36
Position (Dec):-36° 8' 59.60"
Field of view:10.83 x 14.04 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 11.2° right of vertical

Colours & filters

Optical Other

Notes: This image was captured using a ground-based telescope by Allan Allan Sandage and John Bedke.

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