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Hubble captures portrait of unique spiral galaxy

Nov. 15 (UPI) — NASA shared a new Hubble Space Telescope image Friday featuring a galaxy that looks a lot like the Milky Way upon first glance.

Like the Milky Way, NGC 772 is a spiral galaxy. It also has several small satellite galaxies circling its outskirts, just as the Milky Way does. Additionally, NGC 772 boasts a long, warped arm of gas, dust and stars. The arm was stretched and distorted by the gravity of one of the passing satellite galaxies.

But while NGC 772 may look like many of the other spiral galaxies photographed by Hubble, its composition and structure are unique. NGC 772 is without a bar; it is an unbarred spiral galaxy.

Bars are found in the centers of most spiral galaxies. Scientists estimate these pipelines of gas and dust help deliver materials to star-forming regions in the centers of galaxies.

Unusual or not, the spiral galaxy, described by scientists at the European Space Agency this week, is easy on the eyes, featuring an attractive “mixture of bright specks of star formation and dark ripples of cosmic dust weaving throughout.”

The unbarred spiral galaxy boasts a diameter of 200,000 light-years, and it is located 116 million light-years away in the constellation of Aries. It is sometimes known as LEDA 7525, UGC 1466 and Arp 78.

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Science News – UPI.com

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