Thursday, August 3, 2017
Spiral Galaxy NGC 1512: The Nuclear Ring - UNIVERSE
What's happening around the center of this spiral galaxy? Seen in total, NGC 1512 appears to be a barred spiral galaxy -- a type of spiral that has a straight bar of stars across its center. This bar crosses an outer ring, though, a ring not seen as it surrounds the pictured region. Featured in this Hubble Space Telescope image is an inner ring -- one that itself surrounds the nucleus of the spiral.
The two rings are connected not only by a bar of bright stars but by dark lanes of dust. Inside of this inner ring, dust continues to spiral right into the very center -- possibly the location of a large black hole. The rings are bright with newly formed stars which may have been triggered by the collision of NGC 1512 with its galactic neighbor, NGC 1510.
Image and info via APOD https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/astropix.html
Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble, LEGUS; Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt