A slashing smudge across the sky

The galaxy cutting dramatically across the frame of this NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image is a slightly warped dwarf galaxy known as UGC 1281. Seen here from an edge-on perspective, this galaxy lies roughly 18 million light-years away in the constellation of Triangulum (The Triangle).

The bright companion to the lower left of UGC 1281 is the small galaxy PGC 6700, officially known as 2MASX J01493473+3234464. Other prominent stars belonging to our own galaxy, the Milky Way, and more distant galaxies can be seen scattered throughout the sky.

The side-on view we have of UGC 1281 makes it a perfect candidate for studies into how gas is distributed within galactic halos — the roughly spherical regions of diffuse gas extending outwards from a galaxy’s centre. Astronomers have studied this galaxy to see how its gas vertically extends out from its central plane, and found it to be a quite typical dwarf galaxy. However, it does have a slightly warped shape to its outer edges, and is forming stars at a particularly low rate.

A version of this image was entered into the Hubble's Hidden Treasures image processing competition by contestant Luca Limatola.

Links

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Luca Limatola

About the Image

Id:potw1447a
Type:Observation
Release date:24 November 2014, 10:00
Size:4016 x 3833 px

About the Object

Name:2MASX J01493473+3234464, PGC 6700, UGC 1281
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Size : Dwarf
Distance:18 million light years
Constellation:Triangulum
Category:Galaxies

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Coordinates

Position (RA):1 49 31.49
Position (Dec):32° 35' 21.43"
Field of view:3.35 x 3.19 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 14.4° left of vertical

Colours & filters

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

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