Wave of star formation in Messier 96

Messier 96, also known as NGC 3368, is a spiral galaxy about 35 million light-years away in the constellation of Leo (The Lion). It is of about the same mass and size as the Milky Way. It was first discovered by astronomer Pierre Méchain in 1781, and added to Charles Messier’s famous catalogue of astronomical objects just four days later.

A wave of star formation is occurring along the dark filaments that make up the spiral arms. The fledgling stars illuminate the surrounding hydrogen gas, making the stars appear pink. Star birth begins at the inner spiral arms and moves outward. The milky white regions in the centre of these galaxies represent the glow of countless stars.

An image of this galaxy was already released back in 2015 (potw1535a). This newly-processed image now also shows ultraviolet radiation Hubble captured from the galaxy.

Credit:

NASA, ESA, and the LEGUS team

About the Image

Id:heic1810e
Type:Observation
Release date:17 May 2018, 19:00
Related releases:heic1810
Size:3799 x 4123 px

About the Object

Name:Messier 96
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:35 million light years
Constellation:Leo
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
7.9 MB
Screensize JPEG
322.0 KB

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318.1 KB
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563.7 KB
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902.3 KB
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1.1 MB
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1.6 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):10 46 45.70
Position (Dec):11° 49' 11.64"
Field of view:2.51 x 2.72 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 3.9° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Ultraviolet
UV
275 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
B
438 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
U
336 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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