This image shows how the barred spiral galaxy NGC 1365 is feeding material into its central region, igniting massive star birth and probably causing its bulge of stars to grow. The material also is fueling a black hole in the galaxy's core. A galaxy's bulge is a central, football-shaped structure composed of stars, gas, and dust. This infrared image penetrates the dust in the galaxy to reveal more clusters of young stars. The bright blue dots represent young star clusters; the brightest of the red dots are young star clusters enshrouded in dust and visible only in the infrared image. The fainter red dots are older star clusters.
October 6th, 1999