Hubble snaps a serpentine spiral galaxy

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NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope captured the lazily winding spiral arms of galaxy NGC 5921. Located approximately 80 million light-years from Earth, the galaxy is much like our own galaxy, containing a prominent bar.

The galaxy’s spiral arms reside in the constellation Serpens in the northern celestial hemisphere. The Serpens is the only one of the 88 modern constellations to consist of two unconnected regions — Serpens Caput and Serpens Cauda. These two regions, whose names mean the Serpent’s Head and the Serpent’s Tail, are separated by Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer.

The scientific study behind this image was also divided into observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 and observations from the ground-based Gemini Observatory. These two observatories collaborated to understand better the relationship between galaxies like NGC 5921 and the supermassive black holes they contain.

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