December 1, 2023

Hubble Space Telescope Captures a Majestic Spiral Galaxy 230 Million Light-Years Away

Hubble Space Telescope edge-on view of the marvelous spiral nebula UGC 11537. Credit: ESA/Hubble & & NASA, A. Seth
This huge picture from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope showcases an edge-on view of the magnificent spiral nebula UGC 11537. Hubbles Wide Field Camera 3 has captured the tightly wound spiral arms swirling around the heart of UGC 11537 at visible and infrared wavelengths, showing both the intense bands of stars and the dark clouds of dust threading throughout the galaxy.
UGC 11537 is 230 million light-years away in the constellation Aquila, and lies close to the aircraft of the Milky Way. Being so near to the starry band of the Milky Way means that foreground stars from our own galaxy have crept into the image– the two popular stars in front of UGC 11537 are trespassers from within the Milky Way. These bright foreground stars are surrounded by diffraction spikes– imaging artifacts brought on by starlight engaging with Hubbles inner structure.
This image came from a set of observations created to assist astronomers weigh supermassive black holes in far-off galaxies. The combination of Hubbles sharp-eyed observations and data from ground-based telescopes permitted astronomers to make in-depth models of the mass of stars in these galaxies, which in turn helps constrain the mass of supermassive black holes.

By ESA/Hubble
November 14, 2021