Sparkle and spiral

Hubble captures the visual splendour of a distant galaxy.

Just 30 million light-years away: the glorious galaxy NGC 2903.

ESA/Hubble & NASA, L. Ho et al.

This is a galaxy dubbed NGC 2903. It lies about 30 million light-years from Earth in the constellation of Leo, and sits in a cluster of about 145 disc galaxies studied by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope.

NGC 2903 displays all the classic components of spiral galaxies: bright stars, areas of glowing gas, dark strands of cosmic dust, a bulge of densely packed elements at its centre and, behind that, unseen, a massive black hole.

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