Hubble snaps spiral galaxy
A new Hubble telescope image reveals a detailed view of a section of spiral galaxy NGC 4565.
It is an edge-on spiral galaxy, oriented perpendicularly to our line of sight.
NGC 4565 has been nicknamed the Needle Galaxy because when seen in full it appears as a very narrow streak of light on the sky.
The edgewise view into the Needle Galaxy appears similar to the view we have into the core of the Milky Way.
In both cases ribbons of dust block some of the light coming from the galactic disc.
Studying galaxies like NGC 4565 helps astronomers learn more about the Milky Way.
At a distance of only about 40 million light-years, NGC 4565 is relatively close by, and being seen edge-on makes it a particularly useful object for comparative study.
As spiral galaxies go, NGC 4565 is a whopper about a third larger than the Milky Way.
The image was taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys and has a field of view of about 3.4 by 3.4 arcminutes.