In this newly released Hubble Space Telescope image, the galaxy NGC 1961 unfolds its gorgeous spiral arms. Glittering, blue regions of young stars dot the dusty spiral arms that wind around the galaxy’s glowing core.
NGC 1961 is an intermediate spiral galaxy with AGN (active galactic nuclei). Intermediate spiral galaxies are intermediate between “barred” and “unbarred” spiral galaxies in that they lack a well-defined bar of stars at their centres. AGN galaxies have extremely bright centres that, at certain wavelengths of light, far outshine the rest of the galaxy. These galaxies are most likely home to supermassive black holes that churn out bright jets and winds that shape their evolution. The AGN NGC 1961 emits low-energy charged particles, which is a fairly common type of AGN.
This image was created using data from two proposals. The first looked at previously unseen Arp galaxies, while the second looked at the progenitors and explosions of various supernovae.
NGC 1961 is located in the constellation Camelopardalis, about 180 million light-years away.