Hubble Snaps Stunning Barred Spiral Galaxy

©NASA

NGC 613

First discovered in 1798 by German-English astronomer William Herschel, NGC 613 is a galaxy that lies in the southern constellation of Sculptor, 67 million light-years away.

Featured here in an image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, NGC 613 is a lovely example of a barred spiral galaxy. It is easily distinguishable as such because of its well-defined central bar and long arms, which spiral loosely around its nucleus. As revealed by surveys, about two-thirds of spiral galaxies, including our own Milky Way galaxy, contain a bar.

Recent studies have shown that bars are more common in galaxies than they were in the past, giving us important clues about galaxy formation and evolution.

Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, G. Folatelli Larger image

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