BBC Sky at Night Magazine
Eye on the sky
Blue stars glitter on the feathery arms of a flocculent galaxy
HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE, 2 JULY 2020
The fluffy spiral arms and the curiously large empty region at its heart are the signs of a sleepy galaxy in repose. NGC 2775, located 67 million lightyears away in the constellation of Cancer, has its furious period of star production long behind it, leaving a vacant centre where its concentrated reserves of gas were converted to stars long ago. The woolly, ill-defined spiral arms, across which are scattered millions of blue stars, are what give ‘flocculent’ type galaxies their name; in contrast to the distinct, continuous arms of grand design spirals.