NGC 253: 满是尘埃的星系



NGC 253: Dusty Island Universe
Image Credit & Copyright:
Steve Crouch

Explanation: Shiny NGC 253 is one of the brightest spiral galaxies visible, and also one of the dustiest. Some call it the Silver Coin Galaxy for its appearance in small telescopes, or just the Sculptor Galaxy for its location within the boundaries of the southern constellation Sculptor. Discovered in 1783 by mathematician and astronomer Caroline Herschel, the dusty island universe lies a mere 10 million light-years away. About 70 thousand light-years across, NGC 253 is the largest member of the Sculptor Group of Galaxies, the nearest to our own Local Group of Galaxies. In addition to its spiral dust lanes, tendrils of dust seem to be rising from its galactic disk laced with young star clusters and star forming regions in this colorful galaxy portrait. The high dust content accompanies frantic star formation, earning NGC 253 the designation of a starburst galaxy. NGC 253 is also known to be a strong source of high-energy x-rays and gamma rays, likely due to massive black holes near the galaxy’s center.

Tomorrow’s picture: pixels in space

NGC 253: 满是尘埃的星系
Steve Crouch

说明: 光亮的NGC 253是地球天空中,最明亮与最多尘埃的螺旋星系之一。由于它在小望远镜里的外观,有人称它是银元星系;此外,它在南天的玉夫座之内,故也有玉夫大星系之称。这个离我们约1千万光年远的尘埃星系,是由数学家兼天文学家Caroline Herschel(卡洛琳·赫歇尔)发现于1783年。 大小约有7万光年的NGC 253,是玉夫星系群最大的成员星系,而此星系群则是离本星系群最近的邻居。除了它螺旋臂上的尘埃之外,在这张清晰的彩色影像里,丝缕状的尘埃也看似从满布年轻星团和恒星形成区的星系盘里飘飞出来。高尘埃含量再加上剧烈的恒星诞生活动,为NGC 253博得星遽增星系之分类。此外,可能是因为星系NGC 253的核心藏有超大质量黑洞,因此它也是很强烈的高能量X射线伽玛射线源。

明日的图片: pixels in space