Hubble Captures Stunning View of a Spiral Galaxy

Hubble Captures Stunning View of a Spiral Galaxy
Spiral galaxy NGC 2336. (Image: ESA/Hubble & NASA, V. Antoniou; Acknowledgment: Judy Schmidt)

NGC 2336 was discovered over a century ago, but the big, blue spiral galaxy has never looked better, thanks to an eye-catching image obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope.

German astronomer Wilhelm Tempel discovered NGC 2336 in 1876, which he did with a humble 0.28 metre telescope. He could’ve scarcely imagined a photo like this, taken by Hubble’s 2.4 metre main mirror, according to a NASA press release.

NGC 2336 is approximately 100 million light-years away and located in the northern constellation of Camelopardalis (which depicts a giraffe). With its eight prominent spiral arms, NGC 2336 measures some 200 light-years across. By contrast, the Milky Way — another spiral galaxy — is around half that size, measuring 105,000 light-years in diameter.

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The gigantic galaxy is filled with young stars, which appear in blue, while older stars, many located toward the centre, shine in red.

Interestingly, NGC 2336 produced a visible supernova, which astronomers detected on August 16, 1987. It was later determined to be a type 1a supernova, in which the exploding member of a binary pair is a white dwarf.