Face of the huge spiral of Grand Design NGC 3631 in the Hubble lens

(ORDO NEWS) — This image taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope shows the Grand Design spiral NGC 3631, about 53 million light-years away towards the constellation Ursa Major. The “arms” of Grand Design’s spirals seem to wrap around the core of the galaxy.

Close inspection of NGC 3631’s spiral arms reveals dark dust lanes and bright star-forming regions along the interior of the spiral arms. Star formation in spirals is like a traffic jam.

Like cars on a highway, the slowest matter in the spiral disk creates a bottleneck, concentrating star-forming gas and dust along the inside of the spiral arms.

This plug of matter can become so dense that it collapses gravitationally to form new stars (shown here in bright blue-white).

The image uses data collected by the Hubble Wide Field Camera 3 and the Advanced Camera for Surveys. Blue represents the visible wavelengths of blue light and orange represents infrared.


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