About two thirds of spiral galaxies, including the Milky Way, feature a central bar of stars and long arms spiralling loosely around the nucleus. NGC 613, discovered in 1798 by William Hershel, provides a textbook example as seen in this beautifully detailed image captured by the Hubble Space Telescope and released 11 January. NGC 613 is located about 67 million light years from Earth in the southern constellation Sculptor.
Don’t miss Jupiter’s moons and Great Red Spot during May
Despite more than seven weeks having passed since opposition, the Solar System’s largest planet Jupiter is still big and bright in the UK evening sky of May, highest in the south around 10pm BST. Find out about the phenomena of Jupiter and its moons that you can see from the British Isles for the remainder of the month, starting with a transit of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot on 19 May.
Hubble captures an ancient cosmic cluster
Located some 22,000 light-years away in the southern constellation of Musca (The Fly), this tightly packed collection of stars — known as a globular cluster — goes by the name of NGC 4833. Globular clusters are thought to contain some of the oldest stars in our galaxy. This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows the dazzling stellar group in all its glory.