A lonely birthplace

This image was taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), and shows a starburst galaxy named MCG+07-33-027. This galaxy lies some 300 million light-years away from us, and is currently experiencing an extraordinarily high rate of star formation — a starburst. Normal galaxies produce only a couple of new stars per year, but starburst galaxies can produce a hundred times more than that! As MCG+07-33-027 is seen face-on, the galaxy’s spiral arms and the bright star-forming regions within them are clearly visible and easy for astronomers to study.

In order to form newborn stars, the parent galaxy has to hold a large reservoir of gas, which is slowly depleted to spawn stars over time. For galaxies in a state of starburst, this intense period of star formation has to be triggered somehow — often this happens due to a collision with another galaxy. MCG+07-33-027, however, is special; while many galaxies are located within a large cluster of galaxies, MCG+07-33-027 is a field galaxy, which means it is rather isolated. Thus, the triggering of the starburst was most likely not due to a collision with a neighbouring or passing galaxy and astronomers are still speculating about the cause.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA and N. Grogin (STScI)

About the Image

Id:potw1628a
Type:Observation
Release date:11 July 2016, 06:00
Size:3577 x 2316 px

About the Object

Name:MCG+07-33-027
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:300 million light years
Constellation:Hercules
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.7 MB
Screensize JPEG
164.1 KB

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215.2 KB
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386.8 KB
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591.1 KB
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1.0 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):16 2 13.19
Position (Dec):42° 54' 56.87"
Field of view:2.98 x 1.93 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 10.1° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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