Mysterious supernovae

Like firecrackers lighting up the sky on New Year’s Eve, the majestic spiral arms of NGC 5559 are alight with new stars being born. NGC 5559 is a spiral galaxy, with spiral arms filled with gas and dust sweeping out around the bright galactic bulge. These arms are a rich environment for star formation, dotted with a festive array of colours including the newborn stars glowing blue as a result of their immensely high temperatures.

NGC 5559 was discovered by astronomer William Herschel in 1785 and lies approximately 240 million light-years away in the northern constellation of Boötes (the herdsman)

In 2001, a calcium-rich supernova called 2001co was observed in NGC 5559. Calcium-rich supernovae (Ca-rich SNe) are described as “fast-and-faint”, as they're less luminous than other types of supernovae and also evolve more rapidly, to reveal spectra dominated by strong calcium lines. 2001co occurred within the disc of NGC 5559 near star-forming regions, but Ca-rich SNe are often observed at large distances from the nearest galaxy, raising curious questions about their progenitors.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA

About the Image

Id:potw1736a
Type:Observation
Release date:4 September 2017, 06:00
Size:2047 x 1841 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 5559
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Early Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:220 million light years
Constellation:Bootes
Category:Galaxies

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Coordinates

Position (RA):14 19 12.85
Position (Dec):24° 47' 55.28"
Field of view:1.35 x 1.22 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 4.0° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
B
438 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
B
438 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
V
606 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
Redshifted H-Alpha+NII
665 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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