Hubble Photo: Crown of Thorns Galaxy

It is very large with an alternating spiral to elliptical shape, obscured by dense cloudy dust and looks strangely familiar. What is it? The NGC 7049 galaxy, dubbed “Crown of Thorns” because of its eerily look-a-like to the crown of thorns pushed down on the head of Jesus of Nazareth 2000 years ago.

The Crown of Thorns is located in the southern constellation known as Indus and is one of the brighter cluster of galaxies (BCG’s) so far photographed by Hubble.

Composed of uncounted stars, space dust and debris, it is quite an amazing and beautiful site. These type of BSGs are normally much older and quite large compared to their younger brethren, such as our own Milky Way Galaxy, which is a baby in age by comparison.

[NASA Hubble Telescope Phot]


  1. Jeff says

    I can think of an almost infinite number of things this looks like. Why a “crown of thorns?” You’re just giving Christians – already as delusional as the day is long – an opportunity to be even more preachy about the “end times.” PLEASE!! Name it anything else. Tree ring galaxy, Circulus, Rectimus, whatever. This is not, has never been, and never will be evidence of bible god’s existence. God…for all we KNOW…is imaginary. Give the evangelism a break. Some of us have heard ENOUGH, and we don’t need science tainted with this fairy tale nonsense. Thank you.

  2. Merlin McCarley says

    Humm, so the days of the week planets in our system and countless other things being named after GrecoRoman & Norse mythos is no prob for ye?

  3. craig says

    Jeff, there is nothing delusional about those of us that believe that God is the author of the universe and our creator. In fact he loves you so much that nearly 2000 years ago he suffered terribly an died for YOU. Real history, real fact. While we were still sinners Christ died for us. Don’t be duped, Christ is real whether you believe or not. Did you ever imagine the consequences of being wrong on this? Maybe an eternity in Hell might give you time to reflect on the “Crown of Thorns”
    God bless you

  4. says

    Oh, and craig? There is no Hell. Sorry to disappoint you. I know you think anyone who disagrees with you would belong there. Guess you’ll just have to elarn to live with other human beings.

  5. Chris Walker says

    Now you’re just being mean. How do you know he thinks you should go to hell if you don’t believe the same things he does? Seems to me that it’s the other way around and he rather cares for you. Only people who haven’t condemned you to hell would give you the Gospel spiel. You may not agree with him, but a little charity towards people with different beliefs goes a long way, bub.

  6. says

    Dude, I’m an Atheist. We don’t get charity. We get dead last on the trusted Americans scaled (Univ. of Minnesota study you may have heard of). People like craig will vote for a Black Lesbian Muslim for President before he would consider letting me talk to his children. I’m just lucky I wasn’t born during the times when burning at the stake was common place.

  7. Trekscribbler says

    ^^ G”luck w/dat. I always think it’s weird how people of no faith can be as much the zealot as people of faith, but everybody’s gotta have something to believe in, even if it’s pure science in lieu of faith. I respect the differences.

  8. Frank in Billerica says

    I liked the title; for me, the Master of the universe at work. But charity is needed here. Anyone with a profound understanding of Hell would wish it on no one. Any one with a profound understanding of love would believe in Almighty God and Heaven. Human strife is human driven and is the absence of love. Conceived into eternity we have a destiny freely given, for us to choose. IMHO

  9. says

    It’s just a galaxy folks. It has no religious significance other than a group of astronomers thought it looked similiar to the famous crown of thorns. Geeez! I have no doubt that someday a galaxy that looks similiar to some other religious artifact or belief will also be discovered…perhaps the face of Jesus, or some famous object out of the Koran or the Jewish menorah.

    IJAGS (It’s Just A Galaxy Stupid)

  10. Michael Mennenga says

    Someone on Ebay just bought the galaxy for $400,000. The seller even tossed in a piece of toast with the burned image of Jesus.

  11. Derrick Sabio says

    it is called an S0 (S-zero) galaxy. there are many like it taken by the same hubble space telescope that took this one. if you dont believe me do some actual research like i did.

  12. Lauralie says

    ‘crown of glory’ crown of thorns, rings in the atmosphere, galazy dust; whatever it is, it’s certainly no reason for people to bash one another over. We all believe in something, or nothing. It doesn’t make us as human beings better than others.

    We are entitled to our imaginations, our beliefs, our disbeliefs. I personally believe that whatever makes you happy, and feel good, it what it is…

    My faith is profound, and therefore I CHOOSE to believe it as I see it. A crown of thorns. I respect, and personally think that ALL of you are correct in what YOU, youself see it as. My imagination allows me to see it as thorns.

    Respect—it’s what we all need to give, and receive from one another.


  13. John says

    Shame on all you, taking religeous beliefs no matter what denomination out of peoples daily routines. Atheists have no beliefs therefore should have no opinions of people that do. If they knock on the door to your home, politely ask them to leave otherwise keep it to yourselves. Your lack of faith and very open expression for it only make people depressed. I’ll pray for you.

  14. Teresa says

    I to think this is one of the last day signs, It is amazing,Only in the last couple of generations could anyone have ever dreamed of seeing something like this . In the Bible it says there will be signs in the heaven and the earth at the time of the end.100 hundred yrs. you could not have seen this. as for being an atheist I pray you find the truth before you die, because when you die, it will be too late!!! Open the word and ask the Lord to show you his truth as you read.

  15. tensaibaka says

    ^^Teresa, since when did a Sci-Fi website become bible thumping grounds???
    Read Lauralie’s post and try again.

  16. Melisa McKee says

    To me idea that nothing created everything, that the order of things; the reason for our excistence; the awesomeness of our human eye; the functioning of our bodies and our emotions were a mere accident: now that’s a fairy-tale.

    Those that don’t know God, don’t know Him because they don’t want to. Those that will perish will perish not for lack or knowledge but because of free will. If you want to know if god exists, ask Him. But you don’t don’t because you don’t want to. It’s free will and God gave it to you.

  17. ejdalise says

    Which god?

    As someone famous once said (and I paraphrase), we are all atheists . . . it’s just that true atheists believe in one less god than other people.

    I do have respect for believers. I happen to think they are delusional in that aspect of their lives, and they happen to think I will go to hell, and there it normally sits, in perfect harmonious balance.

    But atheists are not the ones who at every chance they get choose to share their supposed insight into the working of the universe. Any one of the believers above could have enjoyed the above image as I did, drawing from it whatever inspiration they chose, and keep it to themselves. They could have said “beautiful” and leave it at that. But they did not.

    They then decry the atheist expressing their views, while claiming their own right to express what they believe . . . doesn’t seem to me like the christian thing to do. No wait . . . it does.


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