Release 864 of 1,136

Hubble Captures the Heart of Star Birth

Release date: Mar 22, 1998 12:00 AM (EST)

The Hubble telescope has captured a flurry of star birth near the heart of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1808.

This is a close-up view of the galaxy's center, the hotbed of vigorous star formation. The yellow color pinpoints older stars; the blue color reveals areas of star birth. NGC 1808 is called a barred spiral galaxy because of the straight lines of star formation on both sides of the bright nucleus. The bar may be the catalyst for this intense star formation. The rotation of the bar may have triggered the star birth, or matter streaming along the bar towards the central region may be feeding the stellar breeding ground.