Dark energy camera captures spiral galaxy with stunning design


T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage) and H. Schweiker (WIYN and NOIRLab/NSF/AURA)

Astronomers at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile have released new images of the galaxy NGC 5364 using the Victor Blanco Telescope’s Dark Energy Camera (DECam).

NGC 5364 is located 54.5 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Virgo. At first glance, this is an ordinary spiral galaxy, but not all are the same. In fact, NGC 5364 belongs to a rather unusual type of spiral galaxy with a spectacular design and orderly structure. These cosmic objects are characterized by the presence of well-defined arms that clearly extend from the center of the galaxy. Approximately 10% of all spiral galaxies are thought to be of this type. Due to their “ideal” structure, they are considered the prototype of spiral galaxies.