Hubble sees a softly luminous galaxy about 110 million light-years from Earth

Devdiscourse News Desk | California | Updated: 29-01-2024 18:14 IST | Created: 29-01-2024 18:14 IST
Hubble sees a softly luminous galaxy about 110 million light-years from Earth
Image Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA, R. J. Foley (UC Santa Cruz)

This image from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope shows a spiral galaxy, with two prominent arms that are tightly wound around the brighter core.

This softly luminous galaxy, named UGC 11105, lies in the constellation Hercules, about 110 million light-years from Earth. The dim galaxy seems outshone by the sparkling foreground stars that surround it. A type II supernova, not visible in this image, took place in this galaxy in 2019 which definitely outshone the galaxy when the event happened.

Astronomers use different methods to measure how bright celestial objects are, and apparent magnitude is one of them. This galaxy in question has an apparent magnitude of around 13.6 in the optical light regime, with apparent magnitude describing how bright objects appear to be from Earth.

Unlike units like kilograms or meters, the magnitude scale does not have a unit associated with it. This scale is a reverse logarithmic scale, where lower magnitudes indicate brighter objects. For comparison, the Sun's apparent magnitude is about -26.8, making it appear far brighter than UGC 11105 from our perspective, even though the latter is an entire galaxy. The faintest stars visible to the naked eye are about sixth magnitude, but the Hubble Telescope can detect objects up to a magnitude of 31, highlighting its ability to observe dim objects like UGC 11105.

Launched in 1990, Hubble has revolutionized our understanding of the universe by providing unprecedented deep and clear views of the cosmos, thanks to its razor-sharp vision, which, being outside Earth's atmosphere, is not affected by atmospheric distortion

Hubble is a joint project of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).

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