News Release Archive:

News Release 236 of 321

December 3, 1998 12:00 AM (EST)

News Release Number: STScI-1998-42

Behind a Dusty Veil Lies a Cradle of Star Birth

A Hubble Heritage Release

December 3, 1998: NGC 253 is a large, almost edge-on spiral galaxy, and is one of the nearest galaxies beyond our local neighborhood of galaxies.

This dramatic galaxy shows complex structures such as clumpy gas clouds, darkened dust lanes, and young, luminous central star clusters. These elements are typical of spiral galaxies. Caroline Herschel discovered NGC 253 in 1783 while looking for comets. The galaxy's closeness to Earth makes it an ideal target for amateur astronomers who can see the southern sky and for astronomers interested in learning more about the makeup of these stunning cities of stars.

Credit: The Hubble Heritage Team (AURA/STScI/NASA)