Sat. May 28th, 2022

This week’s image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a picturesque galaxy, somewhat unimaginatively known as Mrk 1337. It is located 120 million light-years away in the constellation Virgo and is a faintly blocked spiral galaxy. A spiral galaxy is one like our Milky Way, where “arms” of stars reach out from the busy center of the galaxy to form a spiral shape.

The spiral galaxy Mrk (Markarian) 1337, which is about 120 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo.
This image from the NASA / ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows the spiral galaxy Mrk (Markarian) 1337, which is about 120 million light-years away from Earth in the constellation Virgo. Mrk 1337 is a weakly blocked spiral galaxy which, as the name suggests, means that the spiral arms radiate from a central bar of gas and stars. Rods occur in about half of spiral galaxies, including our own galaxy, the Milky Way. ESA / Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.

And a “blocked” spiral galaxy is one that has a central rod – again like the Milky Way – where dust and gas give birth to new stars in an elongated region in the center of the galaxy. This galaxy bar is only faint, which means it’s hard to see, but you can see a clearer bar on images of other galaxies, such as Hubble’s earlier image of the galaxy NGC 7773.

“Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 captured the Mrk 1337 at a wide range of ultraviolet, visible, and infrared wavelengths, producing this richly detailed image,” Hubble researchers write. By capturing data in different wavelengths, scientists can see different features of the galaxy. By looking at the infrared wavelength, for example, telescopes can “see” heat and identify which areas of an image are hotter than others. And by looking at the ultraviolet wavelength, Hubble can see the illumination of warmer objects like very young stars.

Astronomers can combine observations from visible light, ultraviolet or infrared wavelengths to capture different functions and get a more detailed overall look at an object – in this case this beautiful spiral galaxy.

Editor’s recommendations






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.