Hot young stars crowd around a core of older yellowish stars
Hot young stars crowd around a core of older yellowish stars in this spiral galaxy. Perhaps when this galaxy was young it passed through a dust cloud, and gravity pulled in more matter which became the younger stars we see today.
A gorgeous spiral galaxy some 100 million light-years distant, NGC 1309 lies on the banks of the constellation of the River (Eridanus). NGC 1309 spans about 30,000 light-years, making it about one third the size of our larger Milky Way galaxy. Bluish clusters of young stars and dust lanes are seen to trace out NGC 1309’s spiral arms as they wind around an older yellowish star population at its core. Not just another pretty face-on spiral galaxy, observations of NGC 1309’s recent supernova and Cepheid variable stars contribute to the calibration of the expansion of the Universe.
Image Credit: Hubble Legacy Archive, ESA, NASA; Processing – Jeff Signorelli