In Bloom

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope Picture of the Week shows bright, colourful pockets of star formation blooming like roses in a spiral galaxy named NGC 972. 

The orange-pink glow is created as hydrogen gas reacts to the intense light streaming outwards from nearby newborn stars; these bright patches can be seen here amid dark, tangled streams of cosmic dust

Astronomers look for these telltale signs of star formation when they study galaxies throughout the cosmos, as star formation rates, locations, and histories offer critical clues as to how these colossal collections of gas and dust have evolved over time. New generations of stars contribute to — and are also, in turn, influenced by — the broader forces and factors that mould galaxies throughout the Universe, such as gravity, radiation, matter, and dark matter.

German-British astronomer William Herschel is credited with the discovery of NGC 972 in 1784. Astronomers have since measured its distance, finding it to be just under 70 million light-years.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble, NASA, L. Ho

About the Image

Id:potw1926a
Type:Observation
Release date:1 July 2019, 06:00
Size:3586 x 1978 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 972
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:70 million light years
Constellation:Aries
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
2.1 MB
Screensize JPEG
135.3 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
205.8 KB
1280x1024
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1600x1200
564.4 KB
1920x1200
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2048x1536
985.2 KB

Coordinates

Position (RA):2 34 13.46
Position (Dec):29° 18' 40.27"
Field of view:2.99 x 1.65 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 62.7° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
N II
658 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
ACS

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