An irregular island

 

This image, courtesy of the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), captures the glow of distant stars within NGC 5264, a dwarf galaxy located just over 15 million light-years away in the constellation of Hydra (The Sea Serpent).

Dwarf galaxies like NGC 5264 typically possess around a billion stars — just one per cent of the number of stars found within the Milky Way. They are usually found orbiting other, larger, galaxies such as our own, and are thought to form from the material left over from the messy formation of their larger cosmic relatives.

NGC 5264 clearly possesses an irregular shape — unlike the more common spiral or elliptical galaxies — with knots of blue star formation. Astronomers believe that this is due to the gravitational interactions between NGC 5264 and other galaxies nearby. These past flirtations sparked the formation of new generations of stars, which now glow in bright shades of blue.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA

About the Image

Id:potw1634a
Type:Observation
Release date:22 August 2016, 06:00
Size:3855 x 3973 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 5264
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Size : Dwarf
Distance:15 million light years
Constellation:Hydra
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
7.2 MB
Screensize JPEG
544.3 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
440.1 KB
1280x1024
750.8 KB
1600x1200
1.1 MB
1920x1200
1.4 MB
2048x1536
1.8 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):13 41 37.40
Position (Dec):-29° 54' 46.82"
Field of view:3.22 x 3.31 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 80.1° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Infrared
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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