The Great Barred Spiral



Image Credit & Copyright: Martin Pugh.

56 million light years away in the constellation Fornax is one of the largest barred spiral galaxies known.  NGC 1365 at 200,000 light years in diameter is roughly twice the size of our Milky Way galaxy and one of the major players in the Fornax galaxy cluster which is comprised of about 60 galaxies.  The bar rotates at a speed of around 2,000 km/s (1,242.7 mi/s) with a complete rotation taking roughly 350 million years.  The entire galaxy is in the process of receding away from us at 1.600 km/s (994 mi/s).

This galaxy, like most barred spirals are alive with star formation.  The pinks and blues of young and newborn stars lace the vast spiral arms that extend off each side of the bar.  That bar and its gravitational influences are likely responsible for much of the star formation in the galaxy.  As…

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Author: rjbailey

"I have no idea what I'm doing, but I know I'm doing it really, really well." - Andy Dwyer

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