ESA/NASA Hubble

A dusty starfish curls its legs in this image of NGC 2082 from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Dive into the rich starfields of the dusty starfish shaped galaxy known as NGC 2082. What shapes or stories do you see? Leave a note in the comments below.

NGC 2082 is a classically shaped spiral galaxy. Start at the bright yellowish galactic core and move your way along the glowing curved arms. As you move outward, hop from the giant clusters of blue stars. These are hot, young blue stars born as dust and gas compress as the spiral arms orbit the galaxy over hundreds of thousands of years. Also look for areas of pink nebula. Hydrogen gas glows with a pinkish hue when the atoms are excited by ultraviolet radiation from massive stars. Filaments of dark dust, fuel for new stars and planets, weave an intricate pattern throughout the galaxy.

And when you’re done exploring the galaxy, turn your attention to the dozens of faraway galaxies found throughout the detailed image.

NGC 2082 is found about 60 million light-years from Earth toward the southern constellation Dorado, the Swordfish. English astronomer Sir John Herschel first recorded NGC 2082 during his observing expedition at the Cape of Good Hope in the 1830s.

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