The Cartwheel Galaxy

Right Image

A rare and spectacular head-on collision between two galaxies appears in this Hubble Space Telescope true-color image of the Cartwheel Galaxy, located 500 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. The new details of star birth resolved by Hubble provide an opportunity to study how extremely massive stars are born in large fragmented gas clouds.


Top Left Image

Hubble's detailed view shows the knot-like structure of the ring, produced by large clusters of new star formation. Hubble also resolves the effects of thousands of supernovae on the ring structure. One flurry of explosions blew a hole in the ring and formed a giant bubble of hot gas. Secondary star formation on the edge of this bubble appears as an arc extending beyond the ring.

Bottom Left Image

Hubble resolves remarkable new detail in the galaxy's core. The reddish colour of this region indicates that it contains a tremendous amount of dust and embedded star formation. Bright pinpoints of light are gigantic young star clusters.


Kirk Borne (ST ScI), and NASA/ESA

About the Image

NASA press release
NASA caption
Release date:10 January 1995, 23:00
Size:800 x 535 px

About the Object

Name:Cartwheel Galaxy, IRAS 00352-3359
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Lenticular
Distance:500 million light years

Image Formats

Large JPEG
108.3 KB
Screensize JPEG
178.4 KB

Colours & filters

Hubble Space Telescope

Also see our

Accelerated by CDN77