Sci & Tech

Hubble views a tranquil galaxy with an explosive previous

Hubble Views a Tranquil Galaxy with an Explosive Past
Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, D. Jones, A. Riess et al.

The lazily winding spiral arms of the spectacular galaxy NGC 976 fill the body of this picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. This spiral galaxy lies round 150 million light-years from the Milky Way within the constellation Aries. Despite its tranquil look, NGC 976 has performed host to some of the violent astronomical phenomena identified – a supernova explosion. These cataclysmically violent occasions happen on the finish of the lives of huge stars and might outshine whole galaxies for a brief interval. While supernovae mark the deaths of huge stars, they’re additionally answerable for the creation of heavy parts which can be integrated into later generations of stars and planets.

Supernovae are additionally a helpful assist for astronomers who measure the distances to faraway galaxies. The quantity of vitality thrown out into area by some sorts of supernova explosions may be very uniform, permitting astronomers to estimate their distances from how brilliant they seem like when seen from Earth. This picture – which was created utilizing information from Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 – comes from a big assortment of Hubble observations of close by galaxies which host supernovae in addition to a pulsating class of stars often known as Cepheid variables. Both Cepheids and supernovae are used to measure astronomical distances, and galaxies containing each objects present helpful pure laboratories the place the 2 strategies may be calibrated towards each other.

Image: Hubble sees cosmic clues in a galactic duo

Hubble views a tranquil galaxy with an explosive previous (2022, January 15)
retrieved 15 January 2022

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