Messier 77


Messier 77 (aka, M77 or NGC 1068) is a barred spiral galaxy about 47 million light-years away in the constellation Cetus. This Hubble visible light image doesn’t reveal M77’s central bar. However, infrared images of the inner part of the galaxy reveal a prominent bar feature, so it is considered a barred spiral galaxy.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

Messier 95


Messier 95 (aka M95 or NGC 3351) is a barred spiral galaxy located about 33 million light-years away in the constellation Leo. It has an an inner ring that surrounds the bar. The ring is star-forming region with a diameter of approximately 2,000 light-years, and the spiral arms extend outward from the ring.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

NGC 1483


ngc-1483-smallNGC 1483 us a barred spiral galaxy a bit over 60 million light-years away.  Barred spiral galaxies are so named because of the prominent bar-shaped structures found in their center. Roughly two-thirds of all spiral galaxies, including the Milky Way, are barred. It’s been suggested that bars may be a common stage in the formation of spiral galaxies and may indicate that a galaxy has reached full maturity.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

The Great Barred Spiral Galaxy


NGC 1365NGC 1365 is enormous. It is one of the largest galaxies known to astronomers—over 200,000 light-years across. This, plus the sharply defined bar of old stars across its structure is why it is also known as the Great Barred Spiral Galaxy. Astronomers believe that the Milky Way, which is only half as big, may look very similar to this galaxy. The bright centre of the galaxy is thought to be caused by huge amounts of superhot gas ejected from the ring of material circling a central black hole. Young luminous hot stars, born in the interstellar clouds, give the arms their blue color. The bar and spiral pattern rotates, with one full turn taking about 350 million years. NGC 1365 is about 61 million light-years away in the constellation Fornax (the Furnace).

Image Credit: ESO