Distant galaxies come into focus in these new Hubble images

Published by NASA Six new, sparkling images of galaxies It was discovered last week by the agency’s Hubble Space Telescope.

Many of them are images millions of light-years away from Earth, helping researchers better understand star formation and evolution, supernovae, and other cosmic events.

According to NASA, Hubble has made about 1.5 million observations over three decades, trained in space. The telescope is designed to pick up visible and ultraviolet light, as well as a shorter length of the infrared spectrum.

read more: How the James Webb Space Telescope captures stunning images of space

Hubble orbits our planet more than 340 miles above the surface. It is capable of capturing light emitted from celestial objects that is blocked by Earth’s atmosphere and unavailable to ground-based observing telescopes, the company said.

Different types of light provide different clues about distant celestial objects. Visible and UV light Reveal intimate eventsAccording to NASA, infrared provides a view of more distant objects. The James Webb Space Telescope, Hubble’s latest counterpart, Absorbs mid- and near-infrared lightThis allows us to see some of the oldest and most distant phenomena in the universe.

Check out the latest Hubble images released to mark „Galaxy Week.”

A Virgo cluster galaxy

Credit: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, ESA and J. Lee (Space Telescope Science Institute); Processing: Gladys Gober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

This intermediate spiral galaxy — dubbed NGC 4654 – Located in the constellation Virgo, 55 million light-years from Earth. Skygazers in the Northern Hemisphere and most of the Southern Hemisphere can detect it from Earth.

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Like other Virgo cluster galaxies, NGC 4654 has an „uneven distribution of stars and neutral hydrogen gas,” according to NASA. The agency noted that this galaxy and other stars could be useful for researchers to understand the connection between young stars and the cold gas from which those stars must first form.

A rare radio galaxy

Credit: NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, ESA, A. Barth (University of California – Irvine), and B. Boizelle (Brigham Young University); Processing: Gladys Gober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

Lenticular galaxies like these — dubbed NGC 612 – According to NASA, spiral galaxies do not have arms, but share the same central bulge and disk. Located in the Sculptor constellation, this galaxy is about 400 million light-years from Earth and can be seen by amateur astronomers in the Southern Hemisphere.

NGC 612 is an elliptical radio galaxy, meaning it „shows significant radio emission” — researchers have found only five like it, the agency said. There are two theories as to why it emits those radio waves, but this type of imaging aims to help astronomers solve that mystery.

At the center of this galaxy is a supermassive black hole

Credit: NASA, ESA, A. Filippenko (University of California – Berkeley), R. Foley (University of California – Santa Cruz), C. Kilpatrick (Northwestern University), and D. Sand (University of Arizona); Processing: Gladys Gober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

Located in the Cepheus constellation, this intermediate spiral galaxy has been dubbed – NGC 6951 – has a long and storied past. It reached peak star formation 800 million years ago, but went quiet for 300 million years before starting to form new stars again, according to NASA. The galaxy is 78 million light-years from Earth and can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere.

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The supermassive black hole at the center of NGC 6951 is surrounded by a „circular nuclear ring” of stars, gas and dust that has existed for 1 to 1.5 billion years, the agency said. NASA noted that researchers have counted six supernovae in the galaxy in the past quarter-century, and studying them could help shed light on the cosmic environments that produced the phenomenon.

In this galaxy, colors tell a story

Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Chander (University of Toledo), and J. Lee (Space Telescope Science Institute); Processing: Gladys Gober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

This barred spiral galaxy – dubbed NGC 1087 – Located in the constellation Cetus. The different colors in the image tell a story: red represents the cold molecular gas from which stars form, pink signals new star formation, and blue areas show „hot, young stars formed earlier in this galaxy’s lifetime.” to NASA. It is 80 million light-years from Earth and is visible across the planet.

While barred galaxies typically see a „slow decay followed by a burst of star formation,” NGC 1087 piqued researchers’ interest because it indicates ongoing new star formation, the agency said. The constellation will help shed light on interactions between young stars and cold gas, and „what happens to gas regions after stars form,” NASA noted.

A rosy barred spiral galaxy

Credit: NASA, ESA, R. Chander (University of Toledo), and J. Lee (Space Telescope Science Institute); Processing: Gladys Gober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

Another barred spiral galaxy, NGC 5068 According to NASA, there is a lot of interstellar dust and „thousands of star-forming regions”. It is located in the constellation Virgo, about 20 million light-years from Earth, and is difficult to see with the naked eye because the galaxy has a very low surface brightness.

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The pink-red regions line the galaxy’s spiral arms and signal ionized hydrogen gas, which is home to young star clusters, the agency said. The James Webb Space Telescope released an infrared image of NGC 5068 this summer, NASA noted, in an effort to study „star formation in the gaseous regions of nearby galaxies.”

Spinning blue arms twinkle in this galaxy

Credit: NASA, ESA and J. Lee (Space Telescope Science Institute); Processing: Gladys Gober (NASA/Catholic University of America)

NGC 685According to NASA, another barred spiral galaxy is slightly more than half the size of our Milky Way galaxy. It is located 58 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Eridanus and, depending on the time of year, can sometimes be seen from the Southern Hemisphere.

The bright blue dots on its arms represent star clusters held together by gravity, while the red represents interstellar gas and dust, the company said.

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