The galaxy, NGC 1187, discovered by English astronomer William Herschel in 1784, looks tranquil and unchanging but it has hosted two supernovae explosions since 1982, they said.
The galaxy's half a dozen prominent spiral arms containing large amounts of gas and dust show bluish features indicating the presence of young stars born out of the clouds of interstellar gas, a release from the European Southern Observatory's headquarters in Garching, Germany said.
In October 1982, the first supernova -- a violent stellar explosion, resulting from the death of either a massive star or a white dwarf in a binary system -- was observed in the galaxy by the ESO's LA Silla Observatory in Chile, then in 2007 a second supernova was observed by an amateur astronomer in South Africa.
The newly released image of NGC 1187, which is 60 million light-years from Earth, was created from observations taken as part of a yearlong study following the more recent supernova, which can still be seen shining long after the time of maximum brightness near the bottom of the image, astronomers said.
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