An image taken by Hubble of the NGC 6744 galaxy as part of the LEGUS survey. Latest News Video: Morgan Freeman Made Sexually Suggestive Comments Florida Ban On Smokable Medical Pot Unconstitutional Who Is Matt Pottinger? The nearby spiral galaxy M96, observed by Hubble Space Telescope. The clumpy arms show lots of gas (the pinkish spots) where stars are forming, too. Like most galaxies that have had a close encounter, M66 is also undergoing strong star formation right now, as you can see by the huge number of gas clouds glowing in it.
Mind you, these are just a few examples of the LEGUS galaxies; the Hubble site has more, as does the LEGUS site as well. The goal is to assemble photos taken in lots of different ways (visible light, ultraviolet, etc.) for 50 local galaxies surrounding our own. Upcoming 'Antares' Rocket Launch Might Be Visible All Along the U.S. The synergy of the two catalogs combined offers an unprecedented potential for understanding star formation," she said.
I can see why the LEGUS folks wanted to get good images of M 96! NGC 6744, a patchy spiral galaxy with lots of young, massive stars in it. UGC 5340 is an irregular galaxy that may be distorted due to a close encounter with another galaxy, or the product of a merger after a collision. These observations will go a long way toward us understanding our local Universe better, and even the more distant regions.
We can use what we see with these nearby galaxies as templates to compare with much more distant galaxies where the individual stars or even clusters can’t be picked out from the galaxy itself. If that doesn't sound like a "neighbor" to you, remember that even the closest galaxy to us, Andromeda , is still 2.5 million lightyears away. The vast cosmic objects are born when huge clouds of dust and gas collapse under the weight of their own gravity.
M66 is a nearby spiral galaxy seen at a low angle, highlighting gas and dust in its arms. A bit closer at 30 million light-years, this is another spiral galaxy. This one is classified as irregular, and is really weird. All in all that’s a pretty useful tool to have at our disposal. And while there is certainly data on many of these galaxies out there already, the inclusion of ultraviolet views gives a lot of room to study them in new ways.
But the new findings may help to change that because the data will be made available to researchers who want to investigate how star formation occurred in one specific galaxy or set of galaxies. They are imaging 50 local galaxies — by "local," I mean nearby the way astronomers think of it, so galaxies closer than about 40 million light-years. Sometimes that's an effect of our viewing angle , where dust on the far side of the galaxy is less obvious because all the stars between us and it "fill in" the light, making the dust less obvious.
These are much more than just pretty pictures. Ultraviolet light is a major tracer of the youngest and hottest star populations, which astronomers need to derive the ages of stars and get a complete stellar history. The spiral galaxy Messier 66. One of the main issues that the survey may help to address is the connection between star formation and the major structures that make up a galaxy, such as spiral arms.
It's also about 35 million light-years away, but seen at more of an angle, closer to edge-on. Like M96, the core is smooth and red, with some dust lanes, and is highly elongated, like a pill. But the amount of heavy elements in the galaxy is low. Well, they're gorgeous pictures. The synergy of the two catalogs combined offers an unprecedented potential for understanding star formation." The goal is to eventually learn more about how stars form.
The galaxy NGC 3627. This way they can see the stars as well as gas and dust in the galaxies, to get a better understanding of how they interact. You can clearly see that the inner part of the galaxy appears reddish and smooth. I noticed right away that the core appears smaller to me too in relation to the arms. This makes it a barred galaxy, where the gravity of stars in the disk and the core interact and stretch out the latter.
Two galaxies that pass in the night. Looking at nearby stars in the Milky Way can be handy (the nearest star to our sun is only 4 lightyears away ), but it helps to get some more data from outside. Image: NASA, ESA, and D. Join the Discussion Recommended Slideshows 51 In Pictures: The 50 Most Powerful Military Forces in the World 51 50 Best-Selling Albums in U.S. OK, ready? That's because there’s less gas and dust there, and more old stars (blue stars die young, leaving the redder, lower mass stars to dominate the light).