Observed with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the faint galaxy featured in this image is known as UGC 12588. Unlike many spiral galaxies, UGC 12588 displays neither a bar of stars across its center nor the classic prominent spiral arm pattern. Instead, to a viewer, its circular, white and mostly unstructured center makes this galaxy more reminiscent of a cinnamon bun than a megastructure of stars and gas in space.

Lying in the constellation of Andromeda in the Northern Hemisphere, this galaxy is classified as a spiral galaxy. Unlike the classic image of a spiral galaxy, however, the huge arms of stars and gas in UGC 12588 are very faint, undistinguished, and tightly wound around its center. The clearest view of the spiral arms comes from the bluer stars sprinkled around the edges of the galaxy that highlight the regions where new star formation is most likely taking place.

Text credit: European Space Agency
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Tully; Acknowledgment: Gagandeep Anand

通过NASA/ESA的哈勃太空望远镜观测,这张照片中的暗淡星系被称为UGC 12588。与许多螺旋星系不同,UGC 12588既没有穿过其中心的恒星条,也没有典型的显著的旋臂图案。相反,对于观察者来说,它的圆形、白色和几乎没有结构的中心使这个星系更像一个肉桂圆面包,而不是宇宙中的恒星和气体的超级结构。

这个星系位于北半球的仙女座,被归类为旋涡星系。但是,与经典的旋涡星系不同,UGC 12588中的巨大恒星和气体臂非常微弱,无法区分并且紧紧缠绕在其中心。螺旋臂的最清晰视图来自散布在银河边缘的蓝色恒星,突出了最有可能形成新恒星的区域。

图片来源:ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. Tully;致谢:Gagandeep Anand

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