Check out this dazzling collection of supernova host galaxies from Hubble telescope

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 21-05-2022 21:06 IST | Created: 21-05-2022 21:06 IST
Check out this dazzling collection of supernova host galaxies from Hubble telescope
Image credit: NASA, ESA

A new dazzling collection of images from the Hubble Space Telescope, a project of international cooperation between ESA and NASA, features galaxies that are all hosts to two remarkable celestial phenomena - Cepheid variables and a special class of supernovae.

Cepheid variables are pulsating stars that regularly brighten and dim and type Ia supernovae are the catastrophic explosions that mark the death throes of a hot, dense white dwarf star. According to the agencies, the two stellar phenomena are both crucial tools used by astronomers to determine astronomical distance and help scientists precisely measure the expansion rate of the universe - a value called the Hubble constant.

Spanning from 2003 to 2021, the galaxies in this collection were picked out in six different proposals for observing time with Hubble, which were part of the telescope's decade-long quest to precisely measure the expansion rate of the Universe, which can help answer fundamental questions about the Universe's very nature.

According to NASA and ESA, all the galaxies presented in this Hubble collection host Cepheid variables and have had at least one type Ia supernova explosion occur in them within the last 40 years.

One of the galaxies, NGC 2525, even contained a supernova that was caught in real time in a remarkable timelapse. The galaxy is located nearly 70 million light-years from Earth and is part of the constellation of Puppis in the southern hemisphere.

You are getting the most precise measure of the expansion rate for the universe from the gold standard of telescopes and cosmic mile markers.

Nobel Laureate Adam Riess of the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
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