Jun 12, 2024, 10:28 PM IST

10 amazing images of spiral galaxies shared by NASA

Shweta Singh

This NASA/ESA Hubble image shows NGC 4423, a spiral galaxy 55 million light-years away in Virgo. Despite its irregular, tubular appearance, it is indeed a spiral galaxy.

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The spiral arms are regions of active star formation, rich in young, blue stars, due to high concentrations of gas and dust.

They are classified into different types (Sa, Sb, Sc) based on the tightness of their spiral arms and the size of their central bulge.

Some spiral galaxies have a central bar structure extending from the nucleus, known as barred spiral galaxies (SBa, SBb, SBc).

Spiral galaxies are common in the universe, comprising about 60-75% of all galaxies, including our own Milky Way.

The rotation of spiral galaxies can help astronomers study dark matter, as the observed rotation speeds often indicate more mass than visible matter alone can account for.

Interactions and mergers with other galaxies can distort spiral galaxies, leading to irregular shapes or the formation of new galactic structures.

Surrounding spiral galaxies is a halo of older stars and globular clusters, which extends far beyond the visible disk and contains remnants of the galaxy's early formation.