The galaxy NGC 691 in the constellation Aries presents a stunning target for the Hubble Space Telescope, showing off near perfect spiral arms wrapped tightly around a brilliant core. Discovered by William Herschel in November 1786, NGC 691 is about 120 million light years from the Milky Way and measures some 130,000 light years across. A type 1a supernova, a class used as “standard candles” in surveys supporting the discovery of dark energy, was detected in NGC 691 in 2005.
New images captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) confirm the presence of a dark vortex roughly 3,000 miles (4,800 kilometres) across in the atmosphere of Neptune. Though similar features were seen during the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune in 1989 and by the HST in 1994, this vortex is the first one observed on Neptune in the 21st century.