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Galaxy NGC 6384

The Hubble Space Telescope has produced this finely detailed image of the beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6384. This galaxy lies 80 million light-years away in the constellation of Ophiuchus (The Serpent Bearer).  Since this location in the sky is not far from the centre of the Milky Way, we have to peer at NGC 6384 past some 22  foreground Milky Way stars (those appearing with a cross—diffraction spikes caused by the telescope).

In the centre of NGC 6384, star formation is being fuelled by the galaxy’s bar structure; astronomers think such galactic bars funnel gas inwards, where it accumulates to form new stars.