A Real ‘Galactic Portal’ – This Is an Actual Hubble Picture, Not CGI

Galaxy NGC 4380

This Hubble image shows the spiral galaxy NGC 4380. The image is made up of observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in the optical and infrared parts of the spectrum. Three filters were used to sample various wavelengths. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, P. Erwin

The galaxy NGC 4380 looks like a special effect straight out of a science fiction or fantasy film in this Hubble Picture of the Week, swirling like a gaping portal to another dimension.

In the grand scheme of things, though, the galaxy is actually quite ordinary. Spiral galaxies like NGC 4380 are one of the most common types of galaxies in the Universe. These colossal collections of stars, often numbering in the hundreds of billions, are shaped like a flat disc, sometimes with a rounded bulge in the center. Graceful spiral arms outlined by dark lanes of dust wind around the bulging core, which glows brightly and has the highest concentration of stars in the galaxy.


Imaging was gathered using the Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) aboard the Hubble Space Telescope (HST). This camera, which replaced Wide Field Planetary Camera 2 (WFPC2) in May 2009, provides Hubble with powerful imaging capabilities including broad wavelength coverage, wide field of view, and high sensitivity. For this image of NGC 4380, filters of the following wavelengths were used: 475 nm, 814 nm, and 1.6 μm.

Note: NGC 4380 is the designation of this galaxy in the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars, which is often called more simply New General Catalogue or NGC. It is one of the largest comprehensive catalogs, currently containing 7,840 objects including galaxies, star clusters, emission nebulae, and absorption nebulae.

35 Comments on "A Real ‘Galactic Portal’ – This Is an Actual Hubble Picture, Not CGI"

  1. Michael Leo Morrison | October 15, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Reply

    Images like this one mess with you if you actually CONCEPTUALIZE what you’re seeing. This is a PHOTOGRAPH, not a drawing!

    I have always wondered why galaxies and planetary systems are flat and disk-shaped instead of spherical. Accretions of matter into stars and planets produce spherical objects. One of you brainy types, please splane this to me. I had only undergrad physics, but I’m very smart and will understand.

    • The rotation. Cannotn rotate around two axis’s at same time

      • Some galaxies are spherical, not disk shaped. Galactic formation is complex, but the spherical ones are thought to be the result of collisions. Stick around for awhile and see what the collision of Milky Way and Andromeda looks like.

    • “I’m very smart and will understand.”

      In your unmatched wisdom, are you also a stable genius?

  2. What causes the bright centre? A black hole?

    • OldGuy InTheRoom | October 15, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Reply

      Indirectly. The Black Hole itself is just that, black. But its massive mass creates massive gravity which a) draws many, many stars towards it and b) if it is “feeding”, the acreation disk will glow. Basically there are just a huge number of stars in the galactic center and this huge density results in the bright center.

  3. The combination of the gravitational attraction of all those stars and their centrifugal force. Imagine a sphere of stars all rotating on an axis. Stars near the poles are pulled towards the center by gravity but experience little centrifugal force since their radius from the rotational axis is small. As a result, they move towards the center of the sphere. Stars near the equator and close to the surface of our starry sphere are thrown outward by the largest centrifugal force which is acting in direct opposite that of the gravitational pull towards the center. They tend to stay where they’re at or even move outward. A rotating sphere will always turn into a rotating disk.

  4. It’s not an actual photograph rather an artists representation based on the data provided; assigning colors to different wavelengths of the electromagnetic scale.

  5. Galileo Galalli | October 15, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Reply

    Rotation is a planar property. Stars and planets have significantly lower mass and rotation speeds than galaxies. Even so, they aren’t perfect spheres but are oblate spheroids. Spin them too fast and they come apart because the surface at the equator is going faster than matter at the poles so you stress the planet. But if the planet were made of suitably durable and elastic material you could spin it fast enough to spread it into a disk too.

  6. Most of the larger galaxies are elliptical’s, large spheres with random orbits forming a ball that gets denser towards the center. Some large spirals exist, but most really big galaxies are balls of stars.
    On a related note, quasars seem to prefer elliptical galaxies, at least the ones we detect. Possibly the quasar itself has an effect that flattens the ball into a disc, sure is a lot of energy pushing jets out past ten thousand light years. More energy than our entire Milky Way and that has to have an effect.

    Meanwhile, it is unknown how galaxies form in the first place, all the theories have large holes of improbability that do not match observation.

  7. “A rotating sphere will always turn into a rotating disk.”
    Abraham, then why don’t all rotating planets turn into discs?

  8. his Hubble image reveals a detailed view of part of the disk of the spiral galaxy NGC 4380. The image is made up of observations from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) in the infrared and optical parts of the spectrum. It is based on data obtained through three filters. The color results from assigning different hues to each monochromatic image associated with an individual filter. Image credit: NASA / ESA / Hubble / P. Erwin.

    This is how the image was rendered. No artists.

  9. Is this bad?

    Can it be blamed on Trump?

    (Because : dishonest MSM Narrative News)

  10. Based on what Henry said “A rotating sphere will always turn into a rotating disk”, does it make me wonder if the surface of a disk falls into the category of “flat”?
    Then is possible the conspiracy theory of flat earth?

  11. Jonathan fortman | October 16, 2019 at 8:32 am | Reply

    I would want to be the threw that portal I’ll volunteer to do it

  12. Kevin J Hallisey | October 16, 2019 at 10:13 am | Reply

    Just wondering….some galaxies appear like water, swirling down a drain. Now, WE KNOW this is caused by the Earth’s rotation. Does that mean there is a rotational basis to the entire universe? Like I said, just wondering.

    • Everything in a spiral galaxy is rotating around a huge central black hole – hence its appearance. On the other hand, all the galaxies have been observed to be hurling away from each other at the same time because of the so-called dark energy force acting upon them, which has yet to be explained.

  13. It’s still a “special effect” because this is not a true color image.

  14. Wow you guys are so smart. They tell you its CGI you believe them. They tell you its a photo you believe them. I want video. Im sure there is some reason that can’t be provided though we had a delayed stream from the moon 50 years ago.

  15. Dear Author,

    Though I find the science behind the Hubble imaging technology (as well as cosmological rarities/observations like the image above) to be fascinating and worth every bit of discussion, I found the title of this article to be highly misleading. I fail to see which part of your writing, or the image, depicts a “real ‘Galactic portal’. It seems you were putting quotes around “galactic portal” to imply some analogy between the Galaxy in the photo and ‘travercing through space-time’. Unless you’re telling the entire audience of this article that there is an Einstein-Rosen bridge at the center of this Galaxy (which would be a truly incredible an awesome discovery), or you’re comparing the ability to see space very far away from earth via the Hubble telescope and calling it a portal metaphorically, I don’t see how this Galaxy is a real galactic Portal.

    Now, if we’re being honest, had you used a different or more hedged title, I likely would have ended up on this page anyway, cause this stuff is fascinating. But a lot of others may not have. All I’m saying is captivating a larger audience with an important message, by any means necessary, is not the way to approach most aspects of life and your fellow man. At least in STEM publishing to a more general audience, the titles haven’t been analogous or metaphorical to their written content. The titles, at least those I have seen, are quite specific and every reader knows what subject they’re about to be learning.

    I mean you no disrespect in my remarks. I found your writing and reporting to be quite articulate all around. Every person reading this can learn something, even if they’re not scientifically inclined.


  16. Despite all our interest in this field the sad part is humanity will never even reach that far into the cosmos.

  17. Lori K. Seifert | October 16, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Reply

    I’d just like to say how Cool You guys are…Your So Smart…I Love Everyone’s comments…Kuddos Fellow Nerds!


  19. Is anyone else COMPLETELY DISGUSTED with the absolutely misleading, click bate, title? Today’s media “news” is total garbage.

  20. If this is an actual photo and not CGI…how comes it looks exactly like the CGI photos that have always been produced? So you mean to tell me that by guessing (scientific guessing or whatever they like to call their guess), that scientists had it absolutely correct on exactly how a galaxy would look? Like, usually when someone is guessing on the unknown and then they actually see that unknown they were looking for, they’re usually surprised by some factor! At least one detail of this unknown will be different than expected! But you mean to tell me they got it exactly right! Even the colors are right! This “so called “ actual photo of a galaxy looks exactly like every other CGI that’s always been created is suspicious! I still believe NASA be lying for their billion dollar funding that they get! I need more concrete evidence that this is real! Until then, I’m still a disbeliever of pseudoscience; I’ll stick with facts that we know that are actually measurable

  21. and u all belive in this..hubble really and NASA?!!
    no way to turn you guys you are brainwashed so good..
    you cant even take ship or plane to the antartic rim
    and u disgust about andromeda galaxy LOL
    universe is full of water…nasa cant go anywhere because earth shield(DOME)
    remember it..its our protection uniqe….there is no asteroids falling on earth or meteors…its a lie and hoax like space itself and those who represent it…they are intruders…you wil see soon

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