Remember, remember the fifth of November. In the UK it is Guy Fawkes night or bonfire night as most people call it these days. All over the country people have been building bonfires and letting off fireworks to celebrate the fact that Guy Fawkes didn't blow up Parliament or the King back in 1605. Nowadays it is an excuse to let off some fireworks and wave some sparklers around.

To keep in with the firework theme, here is a Hubble Space Telescope image of Hoag's Object, in the constellation of Serpens. Although it resembles a Catherine Wheel, it is actually a ring galaxy that is about 120,000 light years across and that makes it similar in size to the Milky Way. The outer ring consists of newly formed massive blue stars whereas the centre contains lot of older redder stars. How exactly it formed, nobody is sure, and that makes it really curious. Even more curiously, there just happens to be another remarkably similar ring-galaxy visible in the distance between the two rings.

Hoags Object
Hoag's Object CREDIT: Tiffany Borders and The Hubble Heritage Team

Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Saturday 05th Nov 2005 (23:59 UTC) | Permalink
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