Hubble Captures Mesmerizing Photo

hubble-space-spiral

Galaxy NGC 524.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

Hubble captured this mesmerizing image of NGC 524 on July 22, 2013. It’s dizzying spirals are reminiscent of one of those spinning hypnotic wheels you would see in an episode of the 60’s TV show “The Twilight Zone”. I can hear the intro music now, “do do do do, do do do do”.

NGC 524 is a type of galaxy called lenticular, which is believed to be a phase in between middle-aged spirals and old ellipticals. Lenticular galaxies are actually armless (no arms extending out) but still have spirals. These types of galaxies have very small amounts of gas and dust, and therefore no longer contain active star forming regions. NGC 524 is situated 90 million light years from Earth, in the constellation Pisces near the center of the “V” shape the constellation makes in the sky.

It’s apparent magnitude is 10.6, so in a moderately light polluted location a telescope of 10″ aperture or larger would most likely be needed in order to be able to make it out as a faint fuzzy.

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