Gallery: 65 All-Time Great Galaxy Hits

NGC 5128 Seen in Visible Light

Capella Observatory

The elliptical galaxy NGC 5128, host of the Centaurus A radio source, as it appears in visible light. The galaxy is located about 12 million light-years away and is one of the closest that sports an active supermassive black hole

UGC 9128

ESA/Hubble & NASA

Astronomers class UGC 9128, shown here, as a dwarf irregular galaxy, It lacks a well-defined shape, and probably contains only around one hundred million stars, far fewer than are found in a large spiral galaxy such as the Milky Way. UGC 9128 lies about 8 million light-years away, in the constellation of Boötes (The Herdsman).

Messier 90

Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope/Coelum

Monday, May 30, 2011: Spiral galaxy Messier 90, in the constellation Virgo, displays obvious interaction with the nearby smaller gallery. The galaxy's core has moved from the center of the disk, and the spiral arms show strong disturbances in several places.

—Tom Chao

Milky Way Twin Galaxy


This picture of the nearby spiral galaxy NGC 6744, which could be the Milky Way's twin, was taken at the European Southern Observatory's La Silla Observatory in Chile.

NGC 634

ESA/Hubble & NASA

Spiral galaxy NGC 634 appears to have a perfect spiral structure, as shown by this Hubble Space Telescope photograph. However, recently a type Ia supernova known as SN2008a was spotted in the galaxy, and it briefly rivalled the brilliance of its entire host galaxy. However, it can no longer be seen in this image, which was taken around a year and a half later.

NGC 3244


Friday, June 3, 2011: This new image of the spiral galaxy NGC 3244 was taken with the help of the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus, during his visit to ESO’s Paranal Observatory on April 6, 2011. The Czech Republic joined ESO in 2007. To the right of the galaxy, an unremarkable foreground star in our own Milky Way, TYC 7713-527-1, shines brightly. The galaxy resides at a distance of about 90 million light years, while the star lies thousands of times closer within our own galaxy.

—Tom Chao

New Supernova in Galaxy M51

Weizmann Institute

Photo of a new supernova in the nearby galaxy M51. Researchers noticed the explosion between May 31 and June 1, 2011.

Markarian 739 or NGC 3758 Galaxy


Viewed in visible light, Markarian 739 resembles a smiling face. It actually is a pair of merging galaxies which lies 425 million light-years away.

NGC 7479

ESA/Hubble & NASA

Spiral galaxy NGC 7479 displays tightly wound arms of the spiral galaxy spinning in an anticlockwise direction, in this Hubble Space Telescope photograph. However, at radio wavelengths, this galaxy (sometimes nicknamed the Propeller Galaxy) spins the other way, with a jet of radiation bending in the opposite direction of the stars and dust in the arms of the galaxy. Astronomers think that the radio jet in NGC 7479 began its bizarre backwards spin following a merger with another galaxy.

Star Formation in Galaxy NGC 4214 Looks Like Fireworks

NASA/ESA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI)

Newly released images obtained with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope in July 1997 reveal episodes of star formation that are occurring across the face of the nearby galaxy NGC 4214. Located some 13 million light-years from Earth, NGC 4214 is currently forming clusters of new stars from its interstellar gas and dust.

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