NASA and ESA released this beautiful Hubble Space Telescope image on September 14, 2012. It’s a spiral galaxy called NGC 7090. Because we’re looking at it almost directly edge-on, we can’t see this galaxy’s spiral arms, which are full of hot, young stars. But we can see the flat disk of the galaxy and the bulge in its mid-section, which, if this galaxy is like others, is full of cool, old stars.
Notice the intricate pattern of pinkish red regions over the whole galaxy. They indicate the presence of clouds of hydrogen gas, which in turn suggest where new stars are forming within NGC 7090. Other studies confirm that this galaxy is actively forming stars.
You can also see dark regions inside the disc of NGC 7090, located in lower half of the galaxy. These are dark dusty regions.
A version of this image of NGC 7090 was entered into the Hubble’s Hidden Treasures Image Processing Competition by contestant Rasid Tugral. Hidden Treasures was an initiative to invite astronomy enthusiasts to search the Hubble archive for stunning images that have never been seen by the general public.
Bottom line: This contains a beautiful Hubble Space Telescope image of edge-on spiral galaxy NGC 7090.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.