NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of the Great Design Spiral, NGC 3631.
The spiral galaxy is located about 53 million light-years away, in the direction of the constellation Ursa Major.
In the photo, the “arms” of the large spiral design appear to wrap around the core of the galaxy.
“Close inspection of the large spiral arms of NGC 3631 reveals dark dust lanes and bright regions of star formation along the inner portion of the spiral arms. Spiral star formation is similar to a traffic jam on the ‘highway,’ the agency said in a statement.
STRAWBERRY FULL MOON: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE SUPER MOON
“Like cars on the highway, the slower-moving matter in the disk of the spiral creates a bottleneck, concentrating gas and dust forming stars along the inner part of their spiral arms. This traffic jam matter can become so dense that it gravitationally collapses, creating new stars (here seen in bright blue-white),” he said.
NASA noted that the color blue represents visible wavelengths of blue light and the color orange represents infrared light.
The agency said the image used data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.
NASA’S HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE REACHES NEW STEP IN EXPANSION RATE OF MYSTERY OF THE UNIVERSE
Earlier this month, the Hubble Space Telescope team shared a collection of supernova host galaxies and have shared images of many other galaxies in recent weeks.
The telescope has been operational since its launch and deployment in 1990.
Hubble has made over 1.5 million observations in its lifetime.
It will soon be joined by the $10 billion James Webb Space Telescope which was launched into orbit in December.