The beautiful orbiting galaxy has been captured by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope

The beautiful orbiting galaxy has been captured by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope

The grand design spiral’s “arms” appear to wind around the galaxy’s nucleus in this image.

“Like cars on the highway, slower moving matter in the spiral’s disk creates a bottleneck, concentrating star-forming gas and dust along the inner part of their spiral arms. This traffic jam of matter can get so dense that it gravitationally collapses, creating new stars (here seen in bright blue-white),” it said.

The agency said that the image used data from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys.

NASA noted that the color blue represents visible wavelengths of blue light and the color orange represents infrared light.

Story Highlights

  • The spiral galaxy lies 53 million light-years away, in the direction of the Ursa Major constellation.

  • “A close examination of NGC 3631’s grand spiral arms reveals black dust lanes and luminous star-forming regions throughout the spiral arms’ inner reaches. The development of stars in spirals is akin to a traffic gridlock on the highway “In a statement, the agency added.

Earlier in the month, the Hubble Space Telescope team shared a collection of supernova host galaxies and has been sharing images of many more galaxies in recent weeks.

The telescope has been operational since its launch and deployment in 1990.

Hubble has made more than 1.5 million observations over the course of its lifetime. It will soon be joined by the $10 billion-dollar James Webb Space Telescope that launched into orbit in December.