The Crescent Nebula (NGC 6888)
Credit: Jim White
Vela SNR (Portion) - Hubble Palette
Credit: Martin Pugh
Spiral Galaxy NGC 3344
NGC 3344 is a glorious spiral galaxy around half the size of the Milky Way, which lies 25 million light-years distant. We are fortunate enough to see NGC 3344 face-on, allowing us to study its structure in detail.
The galaxy features an outer ring swirling around an inner ring with a subtle bar structure in the centre. The central regions of the galaxy are predominately populated by young stars, with the galactic fringes also featuring areas of active star formation.
Central bars are found in around two thirds of spiral galaxies. NGC 3344’s is clearly visible here, although it is not as dramatic as some (see for example heic1202).
M16 // The Eagle Nebula (far right)
M17 // The Swan Nebula (near center)
M24 // Sagittarius Star Cloud (left of center, bottom)
Open Star Cluster M25 (upper left edge)