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Spiral galaxy NGC 253

Spiral galaxy NGC 253

R820/0385

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Credit

J-C CUILLANDRE / CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY J-C CUILLANDRE / CANADA-FRANCE-HAWAII TELESCOPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Spiral galaxy NGC 253. Optical image of the spiral galaxy NGC 253, also known as the Silver Coin, or Sculptor, Galaxy. It lies around 8 million light years from Earth in a group of galaxies called the South Polar, or Sculptor, Group. This group is one of the nearest groups of galaxies to our own Local Group, and lies in the constellation Sculptor. The centre (nucleus) of the galaxy contains yellower, older stars than the spiral arms. These arms, forming the outer part of the galaxy, have a blue colour associated with young stars and starbirth. NGC 253 has been classified as a starburst galaxy due to the extent of this starbirth activity.

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