A Stellar Incubator

Starburst galaxy NGC 1313 is a stellar incubator delivering stars on a scale rarely seen in a single galaxy of its size. As imaged by the Gemini South 8-meter telescope in Chile, a multitude of colorful gas clouds blaze forth from the galaxy’s spiral arms — a tell-tale sign that this extragalactic wonder is a prolific star factory. 

Located some 15 million light years away, NGC 1313 is a late-type barred spiral galaxy. It is a relatively close galactic neighbor to the Milky Way and has a mysterious past. 

A Graceful Spiral in a Blizzard of Galaxies

This stunning image shows the dynamic spiral galaxy IC 5332 in a field of view studded with smaller, more distant, galaxies. Popularly known as the Corsage Galaxy, IC 5332 displays beautifully symmetric spiral arms that unwind gracefully from a small and compact central bulge. 

Actually, IC 5332 features two main spiral arms that continually split into more feathery ones as they extend outwards. Pink “bubbles” of nebulous matter dot the arms. These are massive regions of glowing hydrogen gas and the sites of active star formation. 

Misteriosa Erupción de Nacimiento Estelar

En esta nítida imagen de Gemini Norte, burbujas rosadas de gas de hidrógeno brillante se esparcen a lo largo de los brazos espirales de la galaxia espiral NGC 6946 que impacta de frente como una erupción. Esta sorprendente infusión de color es alimentada por el masivo nacimiento de estrellas masivas a través de NGC 6946; estas jóvenes estrellas calientes emiten copiosas cantidades de radiación ultravioleta hacia sus cubiertas de gas de hidrógeno, causando que las nubes brillen en rojo.

A Mysterious Rash of Star Birth

A Mysterious Rash of Star Birth

In this crisp Gemini North image, pink bubbles of glowing hydrogen gas spread across the arms of the face-on spiral galaxy NGC 6946 like a rash. This amazing infusion of color is fueled by the ubiquitous birth of massive stars throughout NGC 6946; these hot young stars blast copious amounts of ultraviolet radiation into their natal shrouds of hydrogen gas, causing the clouds to glow red. For reasons unknown, NGC 6946 has a much higher rate of star formation than all of the other large galaxies in our local neighborhood.