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Poster Text

The Hubble Heritage Team presents a full-color high-resolution image of the prototypical barred spiral galaxy NGC 1300. The image was constructed from exposures taken by the Advanced Camera for Surveys on the Hubble Space Telescope in four filters made at two adjacent pointings. At it HST resolution, a myriad of fine details are seen throughout the galaxy's arms, disk, bulge, and nucleus. Blue and red supergiants, clusters, and H II regions are well resolved across the spiral arms, and dust lanes trace out fine structures in the disk and bar, highlighting the asymmetry between the two sides of the galaxy.

The nucleus of NGC 1300, shown also in the inset at the lower left, shows an extraordinary "grand-design" spiral structure with a length scale of about 1 kpc. Only galaxies with large-scale bars appear to have these grand-design inner spiral disks. Models suggest that the gas in a bar can be funneled inwards, and then spiral into the center through the grand-design disk, where it can potentially fuel a central black hole. NGC 1300 is not known to have an active nucleus, however, indicating either that there is no black hole, or that it is currently quiescent.

Numerous more distant galaxies are visible in the background, and are seen even through the densest regions of NGC 1300.

The Hubble images, obtained in B, V, I, and Halpha, are available to interested persons through the HST archive. Since its inception in 1998, the Hubble Heritage Project has produced more than 77 dazzling images of celestial objects, released to the public on the first Thursday of each month. Visit us at

Pictures from the Press Release of NGC 1300 at the AAS Meeting in San Diego, CA in January 2005

Picture 1: (above - left to right) Pat Knezek, Zolt Levay; Picture 2 (above): Lisa Frattare, Ray Villard, Carol Christian, Zolt Levay, Pat Knezek, Howard Bond; Picture 3 (below): Cheryl Gundy, Ray Villard, Pat Knezek, Lisa Frattare, Zolt Levay, Carol Christian, Howard Bond