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Spiral Galaxy NGC 5584 | by Hubble Heritage
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Spiral Galaxy NGC 5584

The brilliant, blue glow of young stars traces the graceful spiral arms of galaxy NGC 5584 in this Hubble Space Telescope image. Thin, dark dust lanes appear to be flowing from the yellowish core, where older stars reside. The reddish dots sprinkled throughout the image are largely background galaxies.


Among the galaxy's myriad stars are pulsating stars called Cepheid variables and one recent Type Ia supernova, a special class of exploding stars. Astronomers use Cepheid variables and Type Ia supernovae as reliable distance markers to measure the universe's expansion rate. NGC 5584 was one of eight galaxies astronomers studied to measure the universe's expansion rate. In those galaxies, astronomers analyzed more than 600 Cepheid variables, including 250 in NGC 5584.


The image is a composite of several exposures taken in visible light between January and April 2010 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3.


NGC 5584 is 72 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo.

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Taken on March 18, 2011