<p>Discovered in 1784 by astronomer William Herschel, the galaxy <a href="https://www.spacetelescope.org/images/potw1618a/">NGC 4394</a> is about 55 million light-years from Earth. It’s the archetypal <a href="http://hubblesite.org/hubble_discoveries/science_year_in_review/pdf/2008/barred_spiral_galaxies_and_galactic_evolution.pdf">barred spiral galaxy</a>, with graceful arms and a central bar of gas and stars.</p>

A Star-Studded Bar

Discovered in 1784 by astronomer William Herschel, the galaxy NGC 4394 is about 55 million light-years from Earth. It’s the archetypal barred spiral galaxy, with graceful arms and a central bar of gas and stars.

Photograph by ESA/Hubble, NASA

Week's Best Space Pictures: A Magnificently Bulging Galaxy

Mars’s winter frosts gleam in neon blue, and a Saturn moon does its best impression of a glittering dewdrop.

Feed your need for heavenly views of the universe with our pick of the most awe-inspiring space pictures.

This week, the Cassini spacecraft spots Enceladus just above Saturn’s rings, an International Space Station astronaut flies over Brazil, and one of Mars’s deepest chasms hints at the planet's once watery past.

Read This Next

An ambitious new Florida trail links two U.S. national parks
How reading the night sky helped Black Americans survive
Does a woman’s fertility really plummet at age 35?

Go Further

Subscriber Exclusive Content

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet

Why are people so dang obsessed with Mars?

How viruses shape our world

The era of greyhound racing in the U.S. is coming to an end

See how people have imagined life on Mars through history

See how NASA’s new Mars rover will explore the red planet