NGC 3972 is a spiral galaxy located in the constellation of Ursa Major, approximately 65 million light-years away from Earth. The galaxy was first discovered in 1789 by William Herschel.
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning image of NGC 3972, showing its spiral arms and bright center in intricate detail. The image was taken using Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 in 2018.
The image reveals a bright, compact nucleus surrounded by a series of spiral arms that are adorned with dark dust lanes and bright clusters of stars. The galaxy's arms are dotted with hot, young, blue stars, which are born from the gas and dust that make up the galaxy.
NGC 3972 is also home to many supernova explosions. These bright, explosive events occur when massive stars reach the end of their lives and explode, briefly outshining the entire galaxy.
The Hubble image of NGC 3972 allows astronomers to study the galaxy's properties in detail, such as its structure, composition, and star formation history. It also provides a unique opportunity to study the effects of supernova explosions on the surrounding gas and dust.
Overall, the Hubble image of NGC 3972 is a stunning display of the beauty and complexity of our universe, providing valuable insights into the workings of galaxies and the evolution of the cosmos.
Image credits: NASA, ESA, A. Riess (STScI/JHU)