The spiral arms of the galaxy NGC 3318 are lazily draped across this image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This spiral galaxy lies in the constellation Vela and is roughly 115 million light-years away from Earth. Vela was originally part of a far larger constellation, known as Argo Navis after the fabled ship Argo from Greek mythology, but this unwieldy constellation proved to be impractically large. Argo Navis was split into three separate parts called Carina, Puppis, and Vela – each named after part of the Argo. As befits a galaxy in a nautically inspired constellation, the outer edges of NGC 3318 almost resemble a ship’s sails billowing in a gentle breeze.

NGC 3318星系的旋臂懒洋洋地垂在这张来自NASA/ESA哈勃太空望远镜的图像上。这个旋涡星系位于船帆座,距离地球约1.15亿光年。船帆座原本是一个大得多的星座的一部分,以希腊神话中传说中的阿尔戈号为名,被称为阿尔戈·纳维斯星座,但这个笨拙的星座被证明是不切实际的大。阿尔戈·纳维斯星座被分割成三个独立的部分,分别是船底座、船尾座和船帆座,每个部分都是以阿尔戈号的一部分命名。NGC 3318的外边缘就像是在微风中飘动的船帆,这与一个以航海为灵感的星座中的星系非常相称。

Text credit: European Space Agency (ESA)
Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, European Southern Observatory (ESO), R. J. Foley; Acknowledgment: R. Colombari

文字来源:欧洲航天局(ESA)
影像来源:ESA/Hubble & NASA, European Southern Observatory (ESO), R. J. Foley; Acknowledgment: R. Colombari

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