This spiral galaxy, located a short 20 million light year jaunt from Earth, is as beautiful as it is mysterious.
Astronomers have released new images of galaxy NGC 3344 – and it looks like the perfect Valentine’s Day getaway.
Captured by Nasa and the ESA Hubble Space Telescope, the remarkably clear picture of the galaxy is a combination of images taken through seven filters.
According to SpaceRef, the small blue dots seen within the spirals are stars, which shine blue due to the high temperatures they experience.
The slightly larger, brighter patches of red that litter the arms of the galaxy are clouds of dust and gas, which contain material for more stars.
However, the two bright flashes on the left of the image are not from NGC 3344 and are instead stars from the Milky Way that ‘photobombed’ the telescope, image, SpaceRef reported.
Little else is known about the structure of the galaxy, which is roughly half the size of the Milky Way.
Astronomers say there is no particular reason why it stands out from any other galaxy in the Virgo Supercluster, which contains thousands of galaxies – other than its bright colours and its beauty.