A Grand Design Spiral Galaxy


NGC 2608 (also known as Arp 12) is considered a grand design spiral galaxy because the galaxy’s arms wind moderately (neither tightly nor loosely) around its prominent central bar. It is about 93 million light-years away in the constellation Cancer and is 62,000 light-years across, roughly 60% of the width of the Milky Way.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

NGC 986


An Often Ignored BeautyThis is the spiral galaxy NGC 986 in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace). The galaxy is about 56 million light-years away, and we see it almost perfectly face-on from Earth, allowing us to see the two main spiral arms and also a central bar-shaped structure, composed of stars and dust, which makes it a barred spiral galaxy.

Image Credit: ESO

NGC 986


A spiral in a furnaceNGC 986 is found in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), located in the southern sky. NGC 986 is around 56 million light-years away, and its golden center and barred swirling arms are clearly visible in this image assembled from data captured by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. (The stars in the upper right appear a little fuzzy because a gap in the Hubble data was filled in with images from ground-based telescopes. The view  is accurate, but the resolution is no match for Hubble.)

Barred spiral galaxies are spiral galaxies with stars forming a central bar-shaped structure. NGC 986 has the characteristic S-shaped structure of this type of galaxy. Young blue stars can be seen dotted through the galaxy’s arms, and the core is also alight with star formation.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA

NGC 613


A spiral galaxy’s brights and darksNGC 613 is a barred spiral galaxy about 65 million light-years away in the constellation of The Sculptor. It’s core looks bright and uniformly white in this image as a result of the combined light shining from the high concentration of stars packed into the core, but a massive black hole lurks at the center of this brilliance. Its mass is estimated at about 10 times that of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole, and it is consuming stars, gas, and dust. As matter descends into the black hole’s, it radiates energy, but when looking at the galaxy in the optical and infrared wavelengths used to take this image, there is no trace of its dark heart.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

NGC 1097


NGC 1097NGC 1097 is a barred spiral galaxy. It’s also a Seyfert galaxy. These galaxies have supermassive black holes at their centers which are surrounded by accretion discs of in-falling material. Seen in visible light, most Seyfert galaxies look like normal spiral galaxies, but when studied in other wavelengths, the luminosity of their cores is of comparable intensity to that of entire galaxies the size of the Milky Way.

Dwarf elliptical galaxy NGC 1097A is a peculiar elliptical galaxy that orbits 42,000 light-years from the center of NGC 1097

Image Credit: ESO

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

A Dwarf Galaxy


NGC 5949 is a dwarf galaxy around 44 million light-years from us. NGC 5949 is a relatively bulky example of a dwarf galaxy with a mass of about one percent of the Milk Way’s. It’s classified as a dwarf because of its relatively small number of constituent stars, but with loosely-bound spiral arms it is also classified as a barred spiral galaxy.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

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

NGC 613


A spiral galaxy’s brights and darksNGC 613 is a barred spiral galaxy about 65 million light-years away in the constellation of The Sculptor. It’s core looks bright and uniformly white in this image as a result of the combined light shining from the high concentration of stars packed into the core, but a massive black hole lurks at the center of this brilliance. Its mass is estimated at about 10 times that of the Milky Way’s supermassive black hole, and it is consuming stars, gas, and dust. As matter descends into the black hole’s, it radiates energy, but when looking at the galaxy in the optical and infrared wavelengths used to take this image, there is no trace of its dark heart.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

The Case of the Missing Galaxy


Messier_91_(M91)Messier 91 is a barred spiral galaxy located in the constellation Coma Berenices. It’s part of the Virgo Cluster of galaxies and is about 63 million light-years away from the Earth. It was the last of a group of eight nebulae discovered by Charles Messier in 1781. Originally, M91 was a missing object in the Messier catalogue as the result a bookkeeping mistake by Messier. It was not until 1969 that amateur astronomer William C. Williams realized that M91 was the galaxy that had also be cataloged as NGC 4548.

Image Credit: (CC) Joseph D. Schulman

A Barred Spiral Galaxy


Hubble spies NGC 4394NGC 4394 is a barred spiral galaxy about 55 million light-years away. It’s a member of the Virgo Cluster and is an archetypal barred spiral galaxy, with bright spiral arms emerging from the ends of a bar that runs across the galaxy’s central bulge. The arms are filled with young blue stars, trails of dark cosmic dust, and regions of active star formation.

Image Credit: ESA / NASA

NGC 986


An Often Ignored BeautyThis is the spiral galaxy NGC 986 in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace). The galaxy is about 56 million light-years away, and we see it almost perfectly face-on from Earth, allowing us to see the two main spiral arms and also a central bar-shaped structure, composed of stars and dust, which makes it a barred spiral galaxy.

Image Credit: ESO

The Blinking Galaxy


NGC 6118NGC 6118 is a grand-design spiral galaxy, and it shines bright in this image taken by ESO’s Very Large Telescope. Its central bar and tight spiral arms are clearly visible. The galaxy is sometimes known to amateur astronomers as the “Blinking Galaxy” because this relatively faint, fuzzy object can appear to flick into existence when viewed through small telescopes and then suddenly disappear again as the observer’s eye position shifted.

Image Credit: ESO

NGC 986


A spiral in a furnaceNGC 986 is found in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), located in the southern sky. NGC 986 is around 56 million light-years away, and its golden center and barred swirling arms are clearly visible in this image assembled from data captured by Hubble’s Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2. (The stars in the upper right appear a little fuzzy because a gap in the Hubble data was filled in with images from ground-based telescopes. The view  is accurate, but the resolution is no match for Hubble.)

Barred spiral galaxies are spiral galaxies with stars forming a central bar-shaped structure. NGC 986 has the characteristic S-shaped structure of this type of galaxy. Young blue stars can be seen dotted through the galaxy’s arms, and the core is also alight with star formation.

Image Credit: NASA / ESA