This is a galaxy known as NGC 3081. It’s in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Serpent) around 86 million light-years away. We see NGC 3081 nearly face-on, and the galaxy’s barred spiral center is surrounded by a bright loop known as a resonance ring. This ring is full of bright clusters and bursts of new star formation.
Rings like the one surrounding NGC 3081 form in particular locations known as resonances where gravitational effects in a galaxy cause gas to pile up and accumulate in certain positions. These can be caused by the presence of a “bar” within the galaxy, as with NGC 3081, or by interactions with other nearby objects.
Image Credit: NASA
I agree with Dianna, great picture, as is the entire series. Our host should know these posts are appreciated, though usually without comment. 🙂