Fuzzy dwarf galaxy in our neighborhood captured by Hubble

This week’s image from the Hubble Space Telescope shows a galaxy in our backyard, cosmically speaking, taken as part of a nearby galaxy imaging project. The galaxy UGCA 307 is located 26 million light-years away in the constellation of Corvus, or The Crow, a small visible constellation in the Southern Hemisphere that has been documented as early as 1,000 BCE.

There is only a small cluster of stars in this galaxy, as it is a type called dwarf galaxy. These are defined as galaxies with only a few billion stars, which seems like a lot until you compare it to the hundreds of billions of stars found in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

UGCA 307 hangs against a jagged background of distant galaxies in this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image. The small galaxy consists of a diffuse band of stars containing red gas bubbles that mark regions of recent star formation and lies about 26 million light-years from Earth in the constellation Corvus. ESA/Hubble and NASA, R. Tully

The UGCA 307 doesn’t have much structure, again unlike our Milky Way with its central bar and well-defined spiral arms. Instead, this galaxy is wispy and hazy with a splash of stars.

Still, there are visible features in this galaxy, like regions of brilliant red where new stars are forming. When stars are young, they emit ultraviolet radiation, which illuminates nearby gas and causes it to glow brightly.

The image was taken using Hubble’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) instrument, which looks into the same part of the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye can perceive, called visible light or optical range. He doesn’t see the ultraviolet radiation from new stars, but he does see the effect the radiation has on dust clouds around star-forming regions.

“This image is part of a Hubble project to explore all known nearby galaxies, giving astronomers a glimpse of our galactic neighborhood,” Hubble scientists said. explain.

“Prior to this set of observations, nearly three-quarters of nearby galaxies had been surveyed by Hubble in sufficient detail to spot the brightest stars and gain an understanding of the stars populating each galaxy. This Hubble project aimed to explore the remaining quarter nearby galaxies by taking advantage of short interruptions in Hubble’s observing schedule.

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