Hubble telescope takes amazing image of active spiral galaxy

Hubble telescope takes amazing image of active spiral galaxy

The image from the Hubble Space Telescope (Credit: NASA/ESA/Hubble)

Monday, December 5, 2016

This photo taken by the Hubble Telescope of an active spiral galaxy at the core of the Virgo Cluster has well and truly made our Monday.

The incredible photo was taken by the telescope's wide field camera 3 (WFC3), and features the NGC 4388 galaxy. The filters on the camera assign different hues to each monochromatic image, giving the picture its amazing colour.

Viewers two symmetric spiral arms, regions of stars that extend from the centre of the galaxy, and bright blue specks in the arms, which are actually young stars - showing that the galaxy has had recent bursts of star formations.

The NGC 4388 is actually one of more than 2,000 galaxies in the Virgo Cluster, the closest batch of galaxies to our Milky Way. Classed as an active galaxy due to its bright energetic nucleus, it sits 59 million light years away from earth and was first discovered by a British astronomer, Sir Wilhelm Herschel, in 1784.