With so many beautiful pictures of spiral galaxies available, it might seem strange to highlight yet another image. But NASA's recent press release highlighting NGC 2841 merits the fuss.
NGC 2841 is a 9th-magnitude galaxy 46 million light-years away in the front leg of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. In many ways it's a classic example of a spiral galaxy: plenty of dust, inner populations of yellowish, middle-aged stars toward the center while bluer and younger stars congregate along the outer spiral arms.
However, NGC 2841 defies the norm when it comes to star-formation rate — compared to other galaxies of its kind, it lacks the emission nebulae that indicate star formation, boasting instead a larger-than-average population of young, blue stars. Stellar wind from the super-hot young stars may have blown off the gas that would allow further star formation in their vicinity.
Exposures for the new image were taken in 2010 with Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 totaling two hours through four filters ranging from ultraviolet to infrared wavelengths. The dust arms are captured in extraordinary detail.