Astronomy Picture of the Week – Starburst Galaxy NGC 1569

This image of a dwarf galaxy called NGC 1569 was taken by NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope. It is of one of the most active galaxies in our local neighborhood. NGC 1569 gives birth to stars at a rate that is 100 times faster than the rate observed in our Milky Way Galaxy. This is why it is called a starburst galaxy which is a type of galaxies with an exceptionally high rate of star formation. This star-birthing frenzy may be caused by the compression of gas by gravitational interactions among the group’s galaxies. This galaxy is 11 million light-years from Earth.

Starburst Galaxy NGC 1569

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA), and A. Aloisi (STScI/ESA)