NGC 1512

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NGC 1512 is a “barred spiral” galaxy in the southern constellation of Horologium (“the clock”). Located a mere 30 million light-years away, it is bright enough to be seen with an ordinary telescope. The galaxy spans 70,000 light-years, approximately the size of our Milky Way galaxy, which is also a barred spiral galaxy.


Astronomers believe that the “bar”, which consists of a concentration of stellar gases with a more linear rather than spiral shape, forms as the galaxy stabilizes over a period of two billion years or so. They think that the gases are being sucked into the core to further fuel the frenzy of star formation.


This photo shows NGC1512’s spectacular core, comprised of a huge star foundry, or “circumnuclear starburst ring”, 2,400 light years in diameter. The dull, reddish areas around the periphery of the core are star birthing clusters that are shrouded in interstellar dust and gas. The bright blue areas are clusters that have been cleared of the usual dust and gas by powerful radiation “wind” generated by the newly formed stars.



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