A Collection of Spirals – NOIRlab

NOIRlab image


This image of an intermediate barred spiral NGC 1515 (at centre)  is part of the Dorado Group. Large-scale observations of the Universe have found that galaxies “clump” together. These clumps are held together by a loose gravitational pull and designated a group or cluster, depending on the number of galaxies within a bounded radius. One of the characteristics of groups of galaxies is the slow speed of individual galaxies, about 150 km/s (93 mi/hr), which results in frequent interactions between members. The Dorado Group is composed of three subgroups and NGC 1515 is a member of the subgroup associated with the galaxy NGC 1566. In the background of this image are thousands of other galaxies, located even further away than NGC 1515, alongside stars located in our own Milky Way.

This image is composed of data taken with the Dark Energy Camera on the Víctor M. Blanco 4-meter Telescope at Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO), a Program of NSF’s NOIRLab, as part of the Dark Energy Survey, a project that mapped millions of galaxies. One of the most powerful digital cameras in the world, the Dark Energy Camera was designed specifically for the Dark Energy Survey and was operated by the US Department of Energy and NSF between 2013 and 2019.

A wider crop is available here. Try the zoomable version to explore the thousands of background galaxies.



Image processing: T.A. Rector (University of Alaska Anchorage/NSF’s NOIRLab), J. Miller (Gemini Observatory/NSF’s NOIRLab), M. Zamani & D. de Martin (NSF’s NOIRLab)

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