New Delhi: The US space agency NASA has released a beautiful image of the shining disk of a spiral galaxy that sits approximately 25 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation of Sculptor.
According to NASA, the galaxy named NGC 24, was discovered by British astronomer William Herschel in 1785, and measures some 40,000 light-years across.
The picture was taken using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys, known as ACS for short.
As per the US space agency, it shows NGC 24 in detail, highlighting the blue bursts , dark lanes (cosmic dust), and red bubbles (hydrogen gas) of material peppered throughout the galaxy’s spiral arms. Even number of distant galaxies can be been seen hovering around NGC 24’s perimeter.
However, there may be more to this picture than first meets the eye. Astronomers suspect that spiral galaxies like NGC 24 and the Milky Way are surrounded by, and contained within, extended haloes of dark matter. Dark matter is a mysterious substance that cannot be seen; instead, it reveals itself via its gravitational interactions with surrounding material.