Release 939 of 1,085

Hubble Probes the Violent Birth of Stars in Galaxy NGC 253

Release date: Feb 20, 1995 12:00 AM (EST)

This Hubble telescope image of the core of the nearest starburst spiral galaxy, NGC 253, reveals violent star formation within a region 1,000 light-years across.

Hubble's sharp vision allows astronomers to see complex structures in the starburst core for the first time, including luminous star clusters, filaments of glowing gas, and dust lanes that trace regions of dense gas. Hubble identifies several regions of intense star formation, including a bright, super-compact star cluster. The entire galaxy is shown in the left-hand image, taken by a ground-based telescope.