The Hubble telescope has captured a dazzling photograph of a spiral galaxy, NGC 2903.
NGC 2903 is part of the Leo constellation, located about 30 million light years from Earth. NASA used the powerful orbiting telescope to explore it along with another 100 disk galaxies in the region.
Spiral galaxies comprise most galaxies in space with more than 75 percent. It was thought that our own galaxy, the Milky Way, was one until the 1960s, when it was reclbadified as a barred spiral (a spiral galaxy with a distinct central bar in addition to the spiral arms). The arms of the spiral galaxies are full of stars (and solar systems), as well as explosions of gas and cosmic dust.
NASA has a particular fascination for black holes at this time, and spiral galaxies often contain singularities, another word for "black hole," somewhere near the center. Hubble's surveys of disk galaxies are aimed at exploring the relationship between these black holes and their local galaxies.