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Discovered by British astronomer William Herschel over 200 years ago, NGC 2500 lies about 30  million light-years away in the northern constellation of Lynx. As this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows, NGC 2500 is a particular kind of spiral galaxy known as a barred spiral, its wispy arms swirling out from a bright, elongated core.

Barred spirals are actually more common than was once thought. Around two-thirds of all spiral galaxies — including the Milky Way — exhibit these straight bars cutting through their centres. These cosmic structures act as glowing nurseries for newborn stars, and funnel material towards the active core of a galaxy. NGC 2500 is still actively forming new stars, although this process appears to be occurring very unevenly. The upper half of the galaxy — where the spiral arms are slightly better defined — hosts many more star-forming regions than the lower half, as indicated by the bright, dotted islands of light.

There is another similarity between NGC 2500 and our home galaxy. Together with Andromeda, Triangulum, and many smaller natural satellites, the Milky Way is part of the Local Group of galaxies, a gathering of over 50 galaxies all loosely held together by gravity. NGC 2500 forms a similar group with some of its nearby neighbours, including NGC 2541, NGC 2552, NGC 2537, and the bright, Andromeda-like spiral NGC 2481 (known collectively as the NGC 2841 group).

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA

About the Image

Id:potw1728a
Type:Observation
Release date:10 July 2017, 06:00
Size:4196 x 3874 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 2500
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:30 million light years
Constellation:Lynx
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
6.0 MB
Screensize JPEG
299.2 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
284.0 KB
1280x1024
471.1 KB
1600x1200
727.3 KB
1920x1200
936.6 KB
2048x1536
1.2 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):8 1 53.04
Position (Dec):50° 44' 14.95"
Field of view:2.77 x 2.56 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 1.0° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Ultraviolet
UV
275 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Ultraviolet
U
336 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
B
438 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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