NASA’s Close-Up Picture of Galaxy IC 2051 at 85 Million Light Years Away

The Hubble Space Telescope has recently snapped a striking picture of a galaxy residing staggering 85 million light-years away. NASA named the galaxy IC 2051 which quite similar to the Milky Way in the southern constellation of Mensa (the Table Mountain). After analyzing the characteristics including pinwheeling arms, whirling, along with stars swirling in the center, scientists claimed it to be a spiral galaxy.

According to NASA, during a study of galactic bulges, the telescope found the galaxy. Scientists believe that galactic bulges are responsible for influencing the growth of super massive black holes, and they help in the evolution of galaxies.

NASA said that “It is a spiral galaxy, as evidenced by its characteristic whirling, pinwheeling arms, and it has a bar of stars slicing through its centre.

“This galaxy was observed for a Hubble study on galactic bulges, the bright round central regions of spiral galaxies,” the space agency revealed.


Comparing the IC 2051 galaxy to a "flying saucer,'' it further states, "Spiral galaxies like IC 2051 are shaped a bit like flying saucers when seen from the side; they comprise a thin, flat disk, with a bulky bulge of stars in the centre that extends above and below the disk."


“While more observations are needed in this area, studies suggest that some, or even most, galactic bulges may be complex composite structures rather than simple ones, with a mix of spherical, disk-like, or boxy components, potentially leading to a wide array of bulge morphologies in the universe.”


After serving for more than 30 years, the Hubble telescope is going to retire in 2021. Next, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) will be taking its place, which is more powerful. It is named after NASA’s second administrator James Webb who played a significant role in the Apollo missions.