NICMOS finds a golden ring at the heart of a galaxy (NICMOS image)

The revived Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS) aboard the NASA/ESA Hubble telescope has penetrated the dusty disc of the 'edge-on' galaxy NGC 4013 and looked right into the galactic core. To the surprise of astronomers, NICMOS found a brilliant band-like structure, that may be a ring of newly formed stars [yellow band in photo] seen edge-on.

NICMOS enables the Hubble telescope to see near-infrared wavelengths of light, so that it can penetrate the dust that obscures the inner hub of the galaxy. The ring-like structure seen by NICMOS encircles the core and is about 720 light-years wide, which is the typical size of most star-forming rings found in disc galaxies.

The human eye cannot see infrared light so colours have been assigned to correspond to near-infrared wavelengths. The blue light represents shorter near-infrared wavelengths and the red light corresponds to longer wavelengths.

NGC 4013, which looks similar to our Milky Way Galaxy, resides in the constellation Ursa Major, 55 million light-years from Earth.

This image, taken on 12 May 2002, is a colour composite image that was made by combining photographs taken through J-band, H-band, and Paschen-alpha filters.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, the NICMOS Group (STScI, ESA) and the NICMOS Science Team (Univ. of Arizona)

About the Image

NASA press release
Id:heic0207f
Type:Observation
Release date:5 June 2002, 15:00
Related releases:heic0207
Size:1008 x 1008 px

About the Object

Name:IRAS 11559+4413, NGC 4013
Type:• Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
• X - Galaxies Images/Videos
Distance:60 million light years
Constellation:Perseus

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Infrared
J
1.1 μm Hubble Space Telescope
NICMOS
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
NICMOS
Infrared
Pa-alpha
1.87 μm Hubble Space Telescope
NICMOS

Image Formats

Large JPEG
108.2 KB
Screensize JPEG
79.5 KB

Wallpapers

1024x768
105.9 KB
1280x1024
152.5 KB
1600x1200
210.9 KB

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