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A Galaxy Fit to Burst
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Name: NGC 3125
Description: Starburst Galaxy
Position (J2000): RA 10h 6m 33.30s Dec -29° 56' 7.91"
Constellation: Antlia
Distance: 50 million light years
Visual magnitude: 13.0
Angular size: 1.1 by 0.9 arcmin
Field of view: 0.50 x 0.42 arcminutes
Orientation: North is 26.7° left of vertical
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, Ack: Judy Schmidt
Release date: July 18, 2016
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This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image reveals the vibrant core of the galaxy NGC 3125. Discovered by John Herschel on March 30, 1835, NGC 3125 is a great example of a starburst galaxy - a galaxy in which unusually high numbers of new stars are forming, springing to life within intensely hot clouds of gas.

Located approximately 50 million light-years away in the constellation of Antlia (The Air Pump), NGC 3125 is similar to, but unfathomably brighter and more energetic than, one of the Magellanic Clouds. Spanning 15,000 light-years, the galaxy displays massive and violent bursts of star formation, as shown by the hot, young, and blue stars scattered throughout the galaxy's rose-tinted core. Some of these clumps of stars are notable - one of the most extreme Wolf-Rayet star clusters in the local Universe, NGC 3125-A1, resides within NGC 3125.

Despite their appearance, the fuzzy white blobs dotted around the edge of this galaxy are not stars, but globular clusters. Found within a galaxy's halo, globular clusters are ancient collections of hundreds of thousands of stars. They orbit around galactic centers like satellites - the Milky Way, for example, hosts over 150 of them.