NASA's Hubble Space Telescope took this picture of UGC 5497, a dwarf galaxy in the constellation Ursa Major, some 12 million light years away. The galaxy is full of newly formed bright, blue stars, which lend the galaxy a blue tint. Eventually they will explode as supernovae. NASA says that in the picture the galaxy "looks a bit like salt sprinkled on black velvet," and we agree.
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Rebecca J. Rosen is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she oversees coverage of American constitutional law and government in the Battle for the Constitution series.