GALAXY NGC 2787
Tightly wound, almost concentric, arms of dark
dust encircle the bright nucleus of the otherwise
nondescript galaxy, NGC 2787, in this image created
by the Hubble Heritage team. Astronomer Marcella
Carollo (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology,
Zurich) and collaborators used Hubble's Wide Field
Planetary Camera 2 to collect the data in January
In Edwin Hubble's galaxy classification scheme,
NGC 2787 is classified as an SB0, a barred lenticular
galaxy. These lens-shaped galaxies show little or
no evidence of the grand spiral arms that occur
in their more photogenic cousins, though NGC 2787
does sport a faint bar, not apparent in this image.
NGC 2787's seemingly bland qualities are, however,
just what the doctor ordered for Carollo's investigation.
Dr. Carollo and team are looking at the center of
these galaxies for clues about the process of galaxy
formation including the role of galaxy collisions
and central black holes.
Also visible in the Heritage image are about a
dozen globular clusters hovering around NGC 2787.
What appear to be stars are, in fact, gravitationally
bound families of 100,000's of ancient stars orbiting
the center of NGC 2787.
NGC 2787 lies roughly 24 million light-years (7.4
megaparsecs) from Earth in the constellation Ursa
Major. This Heritage image was made by combining
light from blue, green and infrared filters from
the 1999 dataset.
Credit: NASA and the Hubble Heritage Team
Acknowledgment: M. Carollo (Swiss Federal Institute
of Technology, Zurich)