Silver Dollar Galaxy: NGC 253 (figure 1)
Located 10 million light-years away in the southern constellation Sculptor, the Silver Dollar galaxy, or NGC 253, is one of the brightest spiral galaxies in the night sky. In this edge-on view from NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer, the wisps of blue represent relatively dustless areas of the galaxy that are actively forming stars. Areas of the galaxy with a soft golden glow indicate regions where the far-ultraviolet is heavily obscured by dust particles.
Gravitational Dance: NGC 1512 and NGC 1510 (figure 2)
In this image, the wide ultraviolet eyes of NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer show spiral galaxy NGC 1512 sitting slightly northwest of elliptical galaxy NGC 1510. The two galaxies are currently separated by a mere 68,000 light-years, leading many astronomers to suspect that a close encounter is currently in progress.
The overlapping of two tightly wound spiral arm segments makes up the light blue inner ring of NGC 1512. Meanwhile, the galaxy's outer spiral arm is being distorted by strong gravitational interactions with NGC 1510.
Galaxy Trio: NGC 5566, NGC 5560, and NGC 5569 (figure 3)
NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer shows a triplet of galaxies in the Virgo cluster: NGC 5560 (top galaxy), NGC 5566 (middle galaxy), and NGC 5569 (bottom galaxy).
The inner ring in NGC 5566 is formed by two nearly overlapping bright arms, which themselves spring from the ends of a central bar. The bar is not visible in ultraviolet because it consists of older stars or low mass stars that do not emit energy at ultraviolet wavelengths. The outer disk of NGC 5566 appears warped, and the disk of NGC 5560 is clearly disturbed. Unlike its galactic neighbors, the disk of NGC 5569 does not appear to have been distorted by any passing galaxies.