Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2017 July 10
Explanation: What's happening around the center of this spiral galaxy? Seen in total, NGC 1512 appears to be a barred spiral galaxy -- a type of spiral that has a straight bar of stars across its center. This bar crosses an inner ring, though, a ring not seen as it surrounds the pictured region. Featured in this Hubble Space Telescope image is a "nuclear ring" -- one that surrounds the nucleus of the spiral. The two rings are connected not only by a bar of bright stars but by dark lanes of dust. Inside of this nuclearring, dust continues to spiral right into the very center -- possibly the location of a large black hole. The rings are bright with newly formed stars.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.