Astro-Image | Great Barred Spiral NGC 1365

Browsing the Hubble Legacy Archive, the Great Barred Spiral got my attention. I downloaded three greyscale images filtered in blue, green, and red wavelengths which I combined into this color version with software. The result didn’t appear to me as a large spiral galaxy. Spiral arms were present around a bright core of stars. But, it seemed to be missing some larger dimensions than this image showed.

Hubble Legacy Archive | NGC 1365 | Color composite Jim Ruebush

I searched online for another image of this galaxy and found one showing a much wider field of view than the Hubble image. This image uses data from the Dark Energy Survey (DES). The DES mapped millions of galaxies across the Universe using the Dark Energy Camera (DECam) on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO). Visit the observatory with this link to a 360˚ image.

Using my composite of the Hubble image above, I outlined the region with a polygon and transferred the polygon to the image below. The Barred Spiral is definitely Great. It is about 56 million light years away, is about 205,000 light years in diameter, and has a black hole at the center of about 2 million solar masses.

National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory (NOIRLab)

11 thoughts on “Astro-Image | Great Barred Spiral NGC 1365

  1. It’s an amazing galaxy, with its central bar and dual spiral arms. Much bigger than the Milky Way and one of my favourites. It’s difficult to visualise the evolutionary dynamics which produce such a prominent structural shape.


    • I assume you have viewed it. At best, it is 11˚ above my southern horizon now. Not at all a possible thing to see from here.

      • If you can find a good southern view, I suggest you give it a go. You might be surprised.

        Yes, I’ve imaged it three times because it passes directly overhead here – but my attempts have not yet reached Hubble quality . . . .

  2. What images such as these, and others, help me realize is how insignificant we are and how little we really know. Think of what we knew 500 years ago and imagine how much more humans may know in 500 years if we survive than long.

    • Jim Fetig, your thoughts are mine as well. It’s all mind-blowing, black holes, galaxies without end, expanding universe. Philosophy meets science. The seemingly miraculous existence of life.

        • If life is found to have originated elsewhere than Earth, it would have a profound effect on philosophy and religion for some of us. (We do know already that some asteroids contain organic molecules.) It might also spawn more controversy here in the era of fake news, denial of science, and the mixing of religion and politics.

  3. Great images from the Hubble. The bigger things are the smaller we get. I feel good about that, makes me feel like I won the lottery. Take care.

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