Hubble Telescope Shares Views Of A Galaxy 60 Million Light-Years Away

Amanda Lager

On Christmas Eve, NASA released a photo taken by the Hubble Telescope of a galaxy 60 million light-years from Earth. Numbered galaxy IC 335, the galaxy is one in a group with three others located in what is called the Fornax Galaxy Cluster.

From Earth, galaxy IC 335 can only be seen on its edge, according to NASA. This view makes astronomers' job of classifying the galaxy difficult. Astronomers cannot identify any spiral arms or bars across its center. They do know that IC 335 is 45,000 light-years across. IC 335 is somewhere between a spiral and an elliptical galaxy.

"[Lenticular galaxies] have a thin stellar disk and a bulge, like spiral galaxies, but in contrast to typical spiral galaxies they have used up most of the interstellar medium. Only a few new stars can be created out of the material that is left and the star formation rate is very low. Hence, the population of stars in S0 galaxies consists mainly of aging stars, very similar to the star population in elliptical galaxies."

However, even NASA admits that not everything is known about the stars and the universe outside of our planet.

"The exact nature of these galaxies is still a matter of debate."

— NASA (@NASA) December 24, 2014

"It clearly isn't an elliptical galaxy since it looks flat, but it doesn't seem to have matter between the the scientists involved classify it as an intermediate type between spirals and ellipticals."

— StarChild (@StarChild_100) December 30, 2014

— Daniel Gennaoui (@DanielGennaoui) December 26, 2014

— Sunny Kumar Labh (@science_sunny) December 26, 2014