Chock-full of star formation, this spiral galaxy contains the mass of around ten billion suns – while this may sound like a lot, it is over 20 times less massive than our own Milky Way.
Roughly 50 million light-years away, this galaxy seen by our Hubble Space Telescope (@NASAHubble) is receding from us at a speed of about 808 miles per second (1,300 kilometers per second). Although it appears in the sky near one of our closest galaxy neighbors, the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), this is just a trick of perspective. In reality, this galaxy is physically nowhere near the LMC in space — in fact, it truly is a loner, lacking the company of any nearby galaxies or membership of any galaxy cluster.
Despite its lack of cosmic companions, when this lonely galaxy has a telescope pointed in its direction, it puts on quite a show. It has hosted a variety of spectacular exploding stars called supernovae, four of which we have observed. This galaxy may be alone in space, but we are watching and admiring from far away.
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
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