Caldwell 65

Also called the Sculptor galaxy, Caldwell 65 was discovered in 1783 by British astronomer Caroline Herschel while she was hunting for comets.


10 million light-years

Apparent Magnitude




object type

Spiral Galaxy

A close-up view from Hubble shows that NGC 253 is ablaze with the light from thousands of young, blue stars. The spiral galaxy is undergoing intense star formation. This image, taken with Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys, reveals colors and differing intensities of individual stars as well dark filaments of dust and gas interstellar dust intersperced among the stars. NGC 253 is the dominant galaxy in the Sculptor Group of galaxies and resides about 13 million light-years from Earth.
NASA, ESA, J. Dalcanton and B. Williams (University of Washington), T.A. Rector/University of Alaska Anchorage, T. Abbott, and NOAO/AURA/NSF

Caldwell 65 is a stunning spiral galaxy located around 10 million light-years from Earth. It has a disk-like appearance since we see it almost edge-on, which has led some to nickname it the Silver Coin or Silver Dollar galaxy. Most people, however, call it the Sculptor galaxy after the constellation it resides in. This galaxy is one of the nearest beyond our local neighborhood of galaxies, making it an ideal target for professional and amateur astronomers alike.

This Hubble image, taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera 2 in 1998, focuses in on stars and dust near the center of the Sculptor galaxy (Caldwell 65).
NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA); Acknowledgment: A. Watson (Instituto de Astronomía, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México)

Dark dust clouds and scattered massive stars obscure much of the Sculptor galaxy’s detail, which is why Hubble imaged it in both visible and infrared light with its Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS). Infrared observations allow us to peer through the shrouds of dust, revealing details that are otherwise hidden from view. Thanks to Hubble’s observations, scientists have discovered that all of the dust in the Sculptor galaxy is accompanied by frantic star formation, earning it the designation of a starburst galaxy.

This Hubble image shows about half of the galaxy. Hubble studied the Sculptor galaxy as part of a detailed survey called the ACS Nearby Galaxy Survey Treasury (ANGST) program, which resolved roughly 14 million stars in 69 galaxies. The survey explored galaxies in a region called the Local Volume, ranging in distance from 6.5 million to 13 million light-years from Earth. Hubble’s observations provided insight into the masses, structures, environments, and star-formation histories of these galaxies.

Also cataloged as NGC 253, the Sculptor galaxy was discovered in 1783 by British astronomer Caroline Herschel while she was hunting for comets. With a magnitude of 7.6, this large galaxy is quite a sight even in small telescopes. It is best seen during the spring in the Southern Hemisphere. From the Northern Hemisphere, it appears low in the southern sky in the autumn.

This star chart for Caldwell 65 represents the view from mid-northern latitudes for the given month and time.
Image courtesy of Stellarium


Magnitude - The brightness of an astronomical object, represented by a number; bright objects have low numbers on the magnitude scale, while dim objects have high numbers.

Spiral Galaxy - A galaxy characterized by its spiral structure, with star-filled arms that extend out from the center of the galaxy and host regions of star formation.

Starburst Galaxy - A galaxy that experiences an incredibly high rate of star formation, using up its reservoir of gas in a relatively short period of time.

Explore Hubble's Caldwell Catalog

The following pages contain some of Hubble’s best images of Caldwell objects.

Stars with four diffraction spikes dot the scene against a black backdrop.

Caldwell 1

Also known as NGC 188, this group of stars formed from a large cloud of gas making the stars roughly…

Red cloud of dust with a bright white star in the center of it. Lots of reddish and orangish stars in the background.

Caldwell 2

This shell of gas is expanding outward, away from the dying star within.

Large grouping of bright white, blue and red stars. Lightly colored blue dust surrounds the stars.

Caldwell 3

This barred spiral galaxy was first spotted by British astronomer William Herschel in April 1793 in the constellation Draco.