Astrophoto Lab
--- your online source for astronomical & satellite images ---

Ribbons and Pearls
General Information
Special Galleries
Deep Space
Stars, Supernovae
Solar System
Earth from Space
NASA Space Programs
Other Astro Images
Space Image Gallery
Useful Links
Credits & Useage
Name: NGC 1398
Description: Spiral Galaxy
Position (J2000): RA 3h 38m 51.93s Dec -26° 20' 13.29"
Constellation: Fornax
Distance: 65 million light years
Visual magnitude: 9.7
Angular size: 7.1 × 5.4 arcmin
Field of view: 7.17 x 7.27 arcminutes
Orientation: North is -0.0° left of vertical
Image Credit: ESO
Release date: January 1, 2018
Click the image to buy a print


This picture shows spectacular ribbons of gas and dust wrapping around the pearly center of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1398. This galaxy is located in the constellation of Fornax (The Furnace), approximately 65 million light-years away.

Rather than beginning at the very middle of the galaxy and swirling outwards, NGC 1398's graceful spiral arms stem from a straight bar, formed of stars, that cuts through the galaxy's central region. Most spiral galaxies - around two thirds - are observed to have this feature, but it's not yet clear whether or how these bars affect a galaxy's behavior and development.

This image comprises data gathered by the FOcal Reducer/low dispersion Spectrograph 2 (FORS2) instrument, mounted on ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) at Paranal Observatory, Chile. It shows NGC 1398 in striking detail, from the dark lanes of dust mottling its spiral arms, through to the pink-hued star-forming regions sprinkled throughout its outer regions.

This image was created as part of the ESO Cosmic Gems program, an outreach initiative to produce images of interesting, intriguing or visually attractive objects using ESO telescopes, for the purposes of education and public outreach. The program makes use of telescope time that cannot be used for science observations. All data collected may also be suitable for scientific purposes, and are made available to astronomers through ESO's science archive.

From Wikipedia:

NGC 1398 is an isolated barred spiral galaxy exhibiting a double ring structure. It is located 65 million light years from the Earth, in the constellation of Fornax. The galaxy, with a diameter of 135,000 light years, is slightly larger than the Milky Way. Over 100 billion stars are in the galaxy. It was first discovered by Friedrich Winnecke of Karlsruhe, Germany, on December 17, 1868, while he was searching for comets.