Grand spiral galaxies
often seem to get all the glory, flaunting
their young, bright, blue star clusters in beautiful,
symmetric spiral arms. But small, irregular galaxies form stars too. In fact, as pictured here, dwarf galaxy NGC 1569 is apparently
undergoing a burst of star forming activity, thought
to have begun over 25 million years ago.
Two massive star clusters - youthful counterparts to
star clusters in our own spiral Milky Way galaxy - are seen left of center in the gorgeous
Hubble Space Telescope image
. The above picture spans about 8,000 light-years across NGC 1569. A mere 11 million light-years distant, this relatively close starburst galaxy offers astronomers an
excellent opportunity to study
stellar populations in rapidly evolving galaxies.