A galaxy fit to burst

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the vibrant core of the galaxy NGC 3125. Discovered by John Herschel in 1835, NGC 3125 is a great example of a starburst galaxy — a galaxy in which unusually high numbers of new stars are forming, springing to life within intensely hot clouds of gas.

Located approximately 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Antlia (The Air Pump), NGC 3125 is similar to, but unfathomably brighter and more energetic than, one of the Magellanic Clouds. Spanning 15 000 light-years, the galaxy displays massive and violent bursts of star formation, as shown by the hot, young, and blue stars scattered throughout the galaxy’s rose-tinted core. Some of these clumps of stars are notable — one of the most extreme Wolf–Rayet star clusters in the local Universe, NGC 3125-A1, resides within NGC 3125.

Despite their appearance, the fuzzy white blobs dotted around the edge of this galaxy are not stars, but globular clusters. Found within a galaxy’s halo, globular clusters are ancient collections of hundreds of thousands of stars. They orbit around galactic centres like satellites — the Milky Way, for example, hosts over 150 of them.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

About the Image

Id:potw1629a
Type:Observation
Release date:18 July 2016, 06:00
Size:1208 x 1012 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 3125
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Activity : Starburst
Distance:50 million light years
Constellation:Antlia
Category:Galaxies
Stars

Image Formats

Large JPEG
849.9 KB
Screensize JPEG
443.2 KB

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574.8 KB
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930.7 KB
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1.2 MB
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1.3 MB
2048x1536
1.6 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):10 6 33.30
Position (Dec):-29° 56' 7.91"
Field of view:0.50 x 0.42 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 26.7° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Ultraviolet
u
330 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
B
435 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
N II
658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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