Two visits to NASA’s most venerable space telescope offer a stunning galactic portrait indeed.
A recently released image of the The Hubble Space Telescope shows the fascinating spiral of a galaxy called M99. The galaxy’s well-defined stellar arms extending from the dusty, yellow center of the galaxy are particularly exposed. The new image, which the European Space Agency published on May 2, is the result of two recent studies led by Hubble.
The separate observations allowed Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) to capture a sharper view of the prominent, star-adorned arms of the spiral galaxy. The image displays a stark contrast between the radiant blue-violet hues of the spreading star-dense regions and the surrounding dark space.
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M99, like the Milky Way, is a “grand design galaxy”, meaning it has particularly pronounced spiral arms. This category includes about 10% of all spiral galaxies, according to NASA.
The glittering strands of M99 are located 42 million Light years far from Earth.
The Hubble image is the result of two separate studies of the galaxy. Early research focused on stellar explosions called novas. These explosions, which result from white dwarf stars drawing material from a larger star, are much less violent than supernovathat mark the death of massive stars.
However, astronomers also believe that there is an intermediate type of explosion, brighter than a nova but fainter than a supernova.
And the previous observations of M99 made in 2010 the Transitional installation of Palomar discovered an object in the spiral galaxy with this type of intermediate luminosity, according to ESA. Returning their attention to M99, the scientists sought to discover more information about this detection.
The second observation came from Hubble’s involvement in a large study to explore the connections between young stars and the gas clouds from which they emerged. Galaxy M99 was one of 38 galaxies analyzed in an effort to improve scientists’ understanding of star formation.
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