ESA/Hubble & NASA

Salt and pepper hang in amorphous star clouds in this image of irregular galaxy DDO 82 from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope.

Explore the partial spiral structure of DDO 82, also known as UGC 5692. What stories or shapes do you see? Leave a note in the comments below.

Astronomers classify this dwarf galaxy as an Sm galaxy or Magellanic spiral galaxy. This galaxy is similar to the Large Magellanic Cloud, a nearby dwarf galaxy to the Milky Way Galaxy. Both have one spiral arm. And unlike their larger cousins with billions of stars, dwarf galaxies have only a few million stars.

Zoom in close to the blue stars at the center of the image. These blue patches are new stars or star clusters. Red and yellow stars along the outside are older stars. Peppered throughout the background look for faraway galaxies. The bright stars in the image are nearby stars that are part of the Milky Way Galaxy. The green halo near the star in the center is light playing in the optics of the Hubble Space Telescope.

DDO 82 gets its name from its entry number in the David Dunlap Observatory Catalog. Canadian astronomer Sidney van den Bergh compiled this list of dwarf galaxies in 1959. The galaxy is part of the M81 Group, about three dozen galaxies just 13 million light-years toward the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear.

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