February 20, 1995: 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.
Credit: Carnegie Institution of Washington