Photographs from the Hubble Telescope
This NASA Hubble Space Telescope view of the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1672 unveils details in the galaxy's star-forming clouds and dark bands of interstellar dust. As a prototypical barred spiral galaxy, NGC 1672 differs from normal spiral galaxies, in that the arms do not twist all the way into the center. Instead, they are attached to the two ends of a straight bar of stars enclosing the nucleus. Viewed nearly face on, NGC 1672 shows intense star formation regions especially off in the ends of its central bar. Astronomers believe that barred spirals have a unique mechanism that channels gas from the disk inward towards the nucleus. This allows the bar portion of the galaxy to serve as an area of new star generation.
This NASA handout image obtained on August 20, 2009 shows an image of the Cat's Eye Nebula, made by combining data from two of NASA's Great Observatories--Chandra and the Hubble Space Telescope. Data from the Chandra X-ray Observatory revealed a bright central star surrounded by a cloud of multimillion-degree gas in the planetary nebula known as the Cat's Eye. The intensity of the X-ray emission is correlated to the brightness of the orange coloring. The intensity of X-rays from the central star was unexpected, and this is the first time astronomers have seen such emissions from the central star of a planetary nebula.