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Spiral Galaxy ESO 269-57

Galaxyy ESO 269-57 is a spectacular spiral galaxy of symmetrical shape in the southern constellation Centaurus and belongs to a well-known cluster of galaxies seen in this direction. The galaxy received this designation when it was catalogued during the first ESO Survey of the Southern Sky in the 1970's.

This image shows the complex structure of ESO 269-57, with an inner "ring", of several tightly wound spiral arms, surrounded by two outer ones that appear to split into several branches. Many blue and diffuse objects are visible—most are star-forming regions. The galaxy type is Sa(r). The velocity is just over 3100 km/sec, indicating a distance of about 155 million light-years. It extends over about 4 arcmin in the sky, corresponding to nearly 200,000 light-years across. Many other galaxies are visible in the background.

This three-colour composite (BVR) was obtained from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) with the Very Large Telescope (VLT) ANTU and FORS1 in the morning of March 27, 1999.