The Hubble Space Telescope has been searching the cosmos for over thirty years, continuously observing our Universe in search of astronomical phenomena to study and galaxies to immortalize. The tireless instrument has recently observed NGC 2775, a very particular cosmic structure.
There is practically no star formation in the central part of the galaxy – this means that it is relatively quiet – and is dominated by an unusually large and relatively empty galactic bulge, where all the gas was converted to stars long ago. NGC 2275 is classified as a flocculent spiral galaxy (due to its soft appearance) and is located at 67 million light-years away in the constellation of Cancer.
Millions of bright, young and blue stars shine in complex spiral arms like woollen bows, intertwined with dark alleys of dust. The complexes of these hot and blue stars are thought to trigger star formation in nearby gas clouds.
The spiral nature of the flocculent galaxies contrasts with the grand design spiral galaxies or those structures that have a well-organized architecture of their arms and a particularly defined and prominent structure. To be clear, about 30% of spiral galaxies are classified as a flocculent, while 60% have a classic multiple-arm structure, and only 10% are of the grand design type.