NGC 7257: spiral disk and globular star clusters at the core of a colliding galaxy

A NASA Hubble Space Telescope (HST) image of the core of the peculiar galaxy NGC 7252 reveals a striking "mini-spiral" disk of gas and stars, and about 40 exceptionally bright and young globular star clusters.

The strong spiral structure is 10,000 light-years across (7 arc seconds); the entire picture is 46,000 light-years across. Hubble's resolution is so good the astronomers can measure the diameters of the clusters (0.04 arc seconds, the apparent size of a dime at a distance of 60 miles). They turn out to be about 60 light-years in diameter, the same size as globular clusters that orbit our Milky Way galaxy.

This visible light image was taken with the Wide Field and Planetary Camera (WFPC) in PC mode, on October 10, 1992.


B. Whitmore (STScI), and NASA

About the Image

NASA press release
Release date:25 May 1993, 06:00
Size:800 x 715 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 7257
Type:Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:220 million light years

Image Formats

r.titleLarge JPEG
107.7 KB
r.titleScreensize JPEG
125.0 KB


Position (RA):22 20 44.88
Position (Dec):-24° 40' 45.30"
Field of view:0.55 x 0.49 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 124.2° left of vertical

Colours & filters

Optical Hubble Space Telescope

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