Wheel Within a Wheel

PureInsight | February 17, 2003

[Pureinsight.org] The Hubble Space Telescope Research Team released this photo of a nearly perfect ring of hot, blue star pinwheels around the yellow nucleus of an unusual galaxy known as Hoag's Object. This image from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope captured a front or main view of the galaxy's ring of stars, and reveals more detail than any existing photo of this object. The entire galaxy is about 120,000 light-years wide, which is slightly larger than our Milky Way Galaxy. The blue ring, which is dominated by clusters of young, massive stars, contrasts sharply with the yellow nucleus made up of mostly older stars. What appears to be a gap separating the two stellar populations may actually contain some star clusters that are almost too faint to see. Curiously, an object that bears an uncanny resemblance to Hoag's Object can be seen in the gap at the one o'clock position. The object is probably a ring galaxy.
Image Credit: NASA and The Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)
Chinese Version available at http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/1/17/20091.html

Add new comment