New Delhi: The US space agency NASA has released an image of spiral galaxy known as NGC 247 that shows the central region of the galaxy.
The image was captured by NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys.
A British astronomer named William Herschel discovered NGC 247 galaxy in 1785.
According to NASA, NGC 247 is a relatively small spiral galaxy in the southern constellation of Cetus (The Whale). Lying at a distance of around 11 million light-years from us, it forms part of the Sculptor Group, a loose collection of galaxies that also contains the more famous NGC 253 (otherwise known as the Sculptor Galaxy).
As per reports, GC 247’s nucleus is visible in the picture as a bright, whitish patch, surrounded by a mixture of stars, gas and dust. The dust forms dark patches and filaments that are silhouetted against the background of stars, while the gas has formed into bright knots known as H II regions, mostly scattered throughout the galaxy’s arms and outer areas.
The spiral galaxy displays one particularly unusual and mysterious feature — it is not visible in this image, but can be seen clearly in wider views of the galaxy, such as a picture from ESO’s MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope. The northern part of NGC 247’s disc hosts an apparent void, a gap in the usual swarm of stars and H II regions that spans almost a third of the galaxy’s total length.