1 min read

Hubble Spies Side-by-Side Galaxies

Two side-by-side galaxies fill the image. The leftmost galaxy is a bright spiral galaxy bursting with blue stars. The rightmost is a lenticular galaxy, emitting a hazy glow. Distant stars and galaxies dot the background.
This new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image showcases a resplendent pair of galaxies known as Arp 140.
NASA/ESA/R. Foley (University of California - Santa Cruz)/Processing: Gladys Kober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

A barred spiral galaxy and a lenticular galaxy come together to create this interacting pair known as Arp 140. The lenticular galaxy, NGC 274, is visible on the right side of this new NASA Hubble Space Telescope image, and the barred spiral, NGC 275, is at left. The twosome is located in the constellation Cetus. 

Lenticular galaxies and barred spiral galaxies have different structures. In barred spiral galaxies, a bar of stars runs through the central bulge of the galaxy (seen here as a bright-white, vertical haze in NGC 275). Typically, the arms of the galaxy start at the end of the bar. Lenticular galaxies, on the other hand, are classified somewhere between elliptical and spiral galaxies. They get their name from the edge-on appearance that resembles a disk. Lenticular galaxies have large central bulges and flattened disk-like spirals, but no spiral arms. They don’t have much gas and dust and are made up primarily of old stars.


Media Contact:

Claire Andreoli
NASA's Goddard Space Flight CenterGreenbelt, MD



Last Updated
Jan 24, 2024
Andrea Gianopoulos
Goddard Space Flight Center