Hubble Telescope captures image of stars in whale's belly


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The Independent Online

It looks like a flock of starlings flying across the night sky but this is in fact an image of the stars that make up the dwarf galaxy ESO 540-31.

The image has been captured by the Hubble Telescope and shows the stars inside the constellation of Cetus or 'the whale'. It almost appears as if an intergalactic creature has swallowed the galaxy whole.

The dwarf galaxy of ESO 540-31 lies 11 million light-years from Earth and in the image more galaxies can be seen the background.

While most galaxies contain billions of stars, dwarf galaxies are usually made up of a few million stars. The Earth lies within the galaxy of The Milky Way which contains over 30 billion stars.   

Click here to see more images of galaxies