A new image from the Hubble Space Telescope resolves NGC 1140: a quaint galaxy located approximately 58 million light-years from Earth toward the Eridanus constellation.
Discovered in the 17th century by Sir William Herschel—who NASA and the ESA ultimately named the Herschel Space Observatory after—the object (otherwise known as PGC 10966) is classified as a dwarf starburst galaxy, which means it is currently undergoing an intense period (or “burst”) of star formation activity. It also happens to have an irregular form, so add that to the list of adjectives.
Calculations show that, amazingly, NGC 1140 is currently churning out new stars at a rate that almost equals that of the Milky Way, which is well over ten times larger. More specifically, this small dwarf galaxy produces one Sun-mass star per year.
This new image of NGC 1140 was compiled using data from Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys and its Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 (See a larger image here).