This is a spiral galaxy seen nearly edge-on. The dark band across the center is the result of material in the flat disk of the galaxy obscuring the light of stars and gas behind it. 43 more words
M74, also called NGC 628, is a stunning example of a “grand-design” spiral galaxy that is viewed by Earth observers nearly face-on. Its perfectly symmetrical spiral arms emanate from the central nucleus and are dotted with clusters of young blue stars and glowing pink regions of ionized hydrogen. 28 more words
The Hubble Space telescope imaged spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 being violently torn apart as it made its way through the Norma Cluster (ACO 3627).