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Spiral galaxies


In 2012, the Hubble Space Telescope took a look at a spiral galaxy in the Hydra constellation. The sharp angle clearly highlights the features, including the elongated nucleus and the bar that connects to the spiral arms.
The Hubble Space Telescope for NASA and ESA has identified the spiral galaxy ESO 499-G37, catching it on a background of distant galaxies, surrounded by nearby stars.

Spiral galaxy ESO 499-G37

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Credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble

The galaxy is seen with a wide angle, which allowed Hubble to reveal its spiral nature particularly clearly. The spiral arms, poorly lit and not well defined, can be distinguished as bluish structures that revolve around the nucleus of the galaxy. This blue tinge is emitted from hot, young stars located in the spiral arms, made of large amounts of gas and dust, and they are areas where new stars are formed continuously.
The galaxy is viewed from an angle, allowing Hubble to reveal its spiral nature clearly. The faint, loose spiral arms can be distinguished as bluish features swirling around the galaxy’s nucleus. This blue tinge emanates from the hot, young stars located in the spiral arms. The arms of a spiral galaxy have large amounts of gas and dust, and are often areas where new stars are constantly forming.
The most distinctive feature is the bright core of the stretched galaxy. The core usually contains the highest density of stars in the galaxy, and normally has a large group of old stars relatively cold, merged in this region spheroidal.
ESO 499-G37 was first observed in the late seventies within the ESO/Uppsala Survey of the ESO (B) atlas. This was a joint project undertaken by the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and the Uppsala Observatory, which used the ESO 1-metre Schmidt telescope at La Silla Observatory, Chile, to map a large portion of the southern sky looking for stars, galaxies, clusters, and planetary nebulae.
One feature that is common to many spiral galaxies is the presence of a bar running across the center of the galaxy. These bars are thought to act as a mechanism that channels gas from the spiral arms to the center, enhancing the star formation.
A common feature of many spiral galaxies is the presence of a bar that runs through the center of the galaxy. This bar allows the gas to proceed from the arms of the spiral toward the center, fueling star formation.
Recent studies suggest that the core of ESO 499-G37 is located within a small long bar a few hundred light years, about one-tenth the size of the typical galactic bars. Astronomers think that such small bars may be important for the formation of galactic bulges (called bulges) as they may provide a mechanism to bring material from the outer regions up to the internal ones. However, the connection between the bars and the formation of bulges is not yet clear why the bars are not a universal feature in spiral galaxies.
The galaxy ESO 499-G37 lies in the southern constellation Hydra that overlaps the constellation Antlia.

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