June 10, 2019
This striking image was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope?s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a powerful instrument installed on the telescope in 2009. WFC3 is responsible for many of Hubble?s most breathtaking and iconic photographs.
Shown here, NGC 7773 is a beautiful example of a barred spiral galaxy. A luminous bar-shaped structure cuts prominently through the galaxy?s bright core, extending to the inner boundary of NGC 7773?s sweeping, pinwheel-like spiral arms. Astronomers think that these bar structures emerge later in the lifetime of a galaxy, as star-forming material makes its way towards the galactic center ? younger spirals do not feature barred structures as often as older spirals do, suggesting that bars are a sign of galactic maturity. They are also thought to act as stellar nurseries, as they gleam brightly with…
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