Image Credit: NASA, ESA, Hubble Space Telescope

This is the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1073. It is 55-million light-years from Earth and is located in the constellation Cetus. It is a barred spiral galaxy because of the prominent bar of stars helping to compose the galactic center; the Milky Way is also thought to have a moderately sized central bar. Because of this, when scientists study galaxies such as NGC 1073, they are also increasing their understanding of our home in the cosmos.

This particular picture was taken by the Hubble Space Telescope and is one of the most detailed images of NGC 1073 to date. You can clearly see dust lanes, star clusters, nebulae, and the nucleus. The galaxy itself spans an impressive 80,000 light-years.

In addition, this image also captured IXO 5, which is a bright X-ray system along with three quasars in the distance (two of them are visible as the very bright ‘stars’ near the top right-hand side of the picture).

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