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Stellar Nursery Blooms into View

The OmegaCAM imager on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and re-emit the light of hot young stars within the nebula. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

Stellar Nursery Blooms into View

Stellar Nursery Blooms into View The OmegaCAM camera on ESO’s VLT Survey Telescope has captured this glittering view of the stellar nursery called Sharpless 29. Many astronomical phenomena can be seen in this giant image, including cosmic dust and gas clouds that reflect, absorb, and […]

WASP-18b Has Smothering Stratosphere Without Water

A NASA-led team of scientists determined that WASP-18b, a “hot Jupiter” located 325 light-years from Earth, has a stratosphere that’s loaded with carbon monoxide, or CO, but has no signs of water. Credits: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

WASP-18b Has Smothering Stratosphere Without Water

WASP-18b Has Smothering Stratosphere Without Water A NASA-led team has found evidence that the oversized planet WASP-18b is wrapped in a smothering stratosphere loaded with carbon monoxide and devoid of water. The findings come from a new analysis of observations made by the Hubble and […]

Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm

This new Picture of the Week, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with the Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS), reveals the single spiral arm of the galaxy, which gives it an asymmetric appearance. But why is there only one spiral arm, when spiral galaxies normally have at least two? Astronomers looked at NGC 4625 in different wavelengths in the hope of solving this cosmic mystery. Observations in the ultraviolet provided the first hint: in ultraviolet light the disc of the galaxy appears four times larger than on the image depicted here. An indication that there are a large number of very young and hot — hence mainly visible in the ultraviolet — stars forming in the outer regions of the galaxy. These young stars are only around one billion years old, about 10 times younger than the stars seen in the optical centre. At first astronomers assumed that this high star formation rate was being triggered by the interaction with another, nearby dwarf galaxy called NGC 4618. They speculated that NGC 4618 may be the culprit “harassing” NGC 4625, causing it to lose all but one spiral arm. In 2004 astronomers found proof for this claim: The gas in the outermost regions of the dwarf galaxy NGC 4618 has been strongly affected by NGC 4625. Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm

Hubble’s Cosmic Search for a Missing Arm This new picture of the week, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows the dwarf galaxy NGC 4625, located about 30 million light-years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (The Hunting Dogs). The image, acquired with […]

Hubble Cashes in Abell’s Richest Cluster

The Universe contains some truly massive objects. Although we are still unsure how such gigantic things come to be, the current leading theory is known as hierarchical clustering, whereby small clumps of matter collide and merge to grow ever larger. The 14-billion-year history of the Universe has seen the formation of some enormous cosmic structures, including galaxy groups, clusters, and superclusters — the largest known structures in the cosmos! This particular cluster is called Abell 665. It was named after its discoverer, George O. Abell, who included it in his seminal 1958 cluster catalogue. Abell 665 is located in the well-known northern constellation of Ursa Major (The Great Bear). This incredible image combines visible and infrared light gathered by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope using two of its cameras: the Advanced Camera for Surveys and the Wide Field Camera 3. Abell 665 is the only galaxy cluster in Abell’s entire catalogue to be given a richness class of 5, indicating that the cluster contains at least 300 individual galaxies. Because of this richness, the cluster has been studied extensively at all wavelengths, resulting in a number of fascinating discoveries — among other research, Abell 665 has been found to host a giant radio halo, powerful shockwaves, and has been used to calculate an updated value for the Hubble constant (a measure of how fast the Universe is expanding). Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA

Hubble Cashes in Abell’s Richest Cluster

Hubble Cashes in Abell’s Richest Cluster The Universe contains some truly massive objects. Although we are still unsure how such gigantic things come to be, the current leading theory is known as hierarchical clustering, whereby small clumps of matter collide and merge to grow ever […]

Hubble discovers “wobbling galaxies”

Abell S1063, a galaxy cluster, was observed by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope as part of the Frontier Fields programme. The huge mass of the cluster acts as a cosmic magnifying glass and enlarges even more distant galaxies, so they become bright enough for Hubble to see. Credit: NASA, ESA, and J. Lotz (STScI)

Hubble discovers “wobbling galaxies”

Hubble discovers “wobbling galaxies” Using the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have discovered that the brightest galaxies within galaxy clusters “wobble” relative to the cluster’s centre of mass. This unexpected result is inconsistent with predictions made by the current standard model of dark matter. With […]

New Hubble Gallery Features Objects from Popular Not-a-Comet Messier Catalog

image credit: R. Stoyan et al., Atlas of the Messier Objects: Highlights of the Deep Sky (Cambridge University Press, 2008)

New Hubble Gallery Features Objects from Popular Not-a-Comet Messier Catalog

New Hubble Gallery Features Objects from Popular Not-a-Comet Messier Catalog In a nod to the global amateur astronomy community, as well as to any space enthusiast who enjoys the beauty of the cosmos, the Hubble Space Telescope mission is releasing its version of the popular […]