An impressive new view of the starburst spiral galaxy NGC 253 (Sculptor Galaxy or Silver Coin Galaxy) captures the splendor of the remarkable structure in a wide-field image that puts its location in space in a new context.
The dataset was compiled based on observations made by the Very Large Telescope (VLT), which the European Southern Observatory
(ESO) operates at the Cerro Paranal Observatoyr, in Chile. One of the most remarkable things about this galaxy is the sheer amount of new stars it produces.
Despite being located about 11.5 million light-years away, in the direction of the Sculptor constellation, the VLT can see its structure with impressive sharpness, while at the same time resolving wide-field details. There are only a handful of other telescopes out there that can boast the same capabilities.
All the bright blue clumps dotting the structure of Sculptor Galaxy are stellar nurseries, massive accumulations of dust and gas in which blue stars are born. The structure produces far more new stars than the Milky Way.