An Amazing Photo of a Galactic Pinwheel
NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope captures this nearly perfect ring of hot, blue stars pinwheels surrounding the yellow nucleuswhich is about 120,000 light-years wide and only 600 million light-years away in the constellation Serpens.
Even more interesting is an object that bears an uncanny resemblance to Hoag’s Object can be seen in the gap at the one o’clock position.
This unusual galaxy was discovered in 1950 by astronomer Art Hoag. Hoag thought the smoke-ring-like object resembled a planetary nebula, the glowing remains of a Sun-like star. But he quickly discounted that possibility, suggesting that the mysterious object was most likely a galaxy. Observations in the 1970s confirmed this prediction, though many of the details of Hoag’s galaxy remain a mystery.
High resolution image here.