Centuries Before Hubble

This image of an archetypal spiral galaxy was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope

The subject of this image is known as NGC 691, and it can be found some 120 million light-years from Earth. This galaxy was one of thousands of objects discovered by astronomer William Herschel during his prolific decades-long career spent hunting for, characterising, and cataloguing a wide array of the galaxies and nebulae visible throughout the night sky — almost 200 years before Hubble was even launched. 

The intricate detail visible in this Picture of the Week would likely be extraordinary to Herschel. Hubble was able to capture an impressive level of structure within NGC 691’s layers of stars and spiralling arms — all courtesy of the telescope’s high-resolution Wide Field Camera 3.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Riess et al.

About the Image

Id:potw2008a
Type:Observation
Release date:24 February 2020, 06:00
Size:3947 x 3924 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 691
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:120 million light years
Constellation:Aries
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
7.6 MB
Screensize JPEG
290.7 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
330.6 KB
1280x1024
584.5 KB
1600x1200
938.9 KB
1920x1200
1.2 MB
2048x1536
1.6 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):1 50 40.95
Position (Dec):21° 45' 18.69"
Field of view:2.61 x 2.60 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 64.9° left of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
Long Pass
350 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Infrared
H
1.6 μm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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