NGC 2397 (Image Credit: NASA, ESA & Stephen Smartt)

This alluring galaxy—formally known as NGC 2397—can be found approximately 60 million light-years from Earth in the Volans constellation.

It has all the earmarks of a classical spiral galaxy, which traditionally have long, winding spiral arms, prominent dust lanes, bright central cores and pink/blue patches of star formation.

Captured by the Hubble Space Telescope's Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), this image of NGC 2397 is so extraordinary crisp, some individual stars can be made out and studied with clarity. Most of them are high-mass stars (seen in blue), but the galaxy also has a nice concentration of old and new stars, and they are positioned in the same way we usually see with other spirals.

The more mature stars (pictured in yellow and red) are concentrated in the central portion of NGC 2397, whereas the blue stars are scattered through the spiral arms. (See a larger image here)

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