Spiral galaxies make up about 70 percent of all observed galaxies, some with large central bulges and tightly wound spiral arms like a fast-spinning ice skater, some with more wide-open arms and smaller bulges and some in various in-between states. NGC 2008, seen here in an image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope, is an Sc galaxy, with S signifying its spiral form and c indicating a small central bulge. The galaxy, located about 425 million miles from Earth in the constellation Pictor, was discovered in 1834 by astronomer John Herschel.
This new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the Lagoon Nebula (Messier 8) an object with a deceptively tranquil name. The region is filled with intense winds from hot stars, churning funnels of gas, and energetic star formation, all embedded within an intricate haze of gas and pitch-dark dust.