A subtle swarm

This Hubble image shows NGC 4789A, a dwarf irregular galaxy in the constellation of Coma Berenices. It certainly lives up to its name — the stars that call this galaxy home are smeared out across the sky in an apparently disorderly and irregular jumble, giving NGC 4789A a far more subtle and abstract appearance than its glitzy spiral and elliptical cousins.

These stars may look as if they have been randomly sprinkled on the sky, but they are all held together by gravity. The colours in this image have been deliberately exaggerated to emphasise the mix of blue and red stars. The blue stars are bright, hot and massive stars that have formed relatively recently, whereas the red stars are much older. The presence of both tells us that stars have been forming in this galaxy throughout its history.

At a distance of just over 14 million light-years away NGC 4789A is relatively close to us, allowing us to see many of the individual stars within its bounds. This image also reveals numerous other galaxies, far more distant, that appear as fuzzy shapes spread across the image.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA

Acknowledgements: Judy Schmidt (Geckzilla)

About the Image

Id:potw1646a
Type:Observation
Release date:14 November 2016, 06:00
Size:3811 x 2371 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 4789A
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Lenticular
Distance:14 million light years
Constellation:Coma Berenices
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
3.7 MB
Screensize JPEG
288.2 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
416.2 KB
1280x1024
724.0 KB
1600x1200
1.0 MB
1920x1200
1.1 MB
2048x1536
1.6 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):12 54 5.96
Position (Dec):27° 8' 54.21"
Field of view:3.18 x 1.98 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 55.7° left of vertical

Colours & filters

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

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