September 30, 2023

One of a Pair: Hubble Space Telescope Peers Into a Beautiful Spiral Galaxy

By ESA/Hubble
November 28, 2021

Hubble Space Telescope picture of the spiral nebula NGC 1317 in the constellation Fornax. Credit: ESA/Hubble & & NASA, J. Lee and the PHANGS-HST Team
In this image the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope peers into the spiral galaxy NGC 1317 in the constellation Fornax, more than 50 million light-years from Earth. The bright point ringed with a criss-cross pattern is a star from our own galaxy surrounded by diffraction spikes, whereas the redder elongated spot is a far-off galaxy lying far beyond NGC 1317.
The information presented in this image are from a large observing project of numerous observations from Hubbles Wide Field Camera 3 and Advanced Camera for Surveys. Integrated with information from the ALMA range in the Atacama desert, these observations assist astronomers chart the connections between vast clouds of cold gas and the fiercely hot young stars that form within them. ALMAs unrivaled sensitivity at long wavelengths recognized vast reservoirs of cold gas throughout the local Universe, and Hubbles sharp vision determined clusters of young stars, as well as measuring their masses and ages.
Frequently the most exciting huge discoveries need this sort of telescope team effort, with cutting-edge facilities collaborating and offering astronomers with details throughout the electro-magnetic spectrum. The same applies to future telescopes, with Hubbles observations laying the groundwork for future science with the NASA/ESA/CSA James Webb Space Telescope.