Imposter or the Real Deal?

This Picture of the Week, taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, shows a close-up view of a galaxy named NGC 2770. NGC 2770 is intriguing, as over time it has hosted four different observed supernovae (not visible here). 

Supernovae form in a few different ways, but always involve a dying star. These stars become unbalanced, lose control, and explode violently, briefly shining as brightly as an entire galaxy before slowly fading away.

One of the four supernovae observed within this galaxy, SN 2015bh, is especially interesting. This particular supernova initially had its identity called into question. When it was first discovered in 2015, astronomers classified SN 2015bh as a supernova imposter, believing it to be not an exploding star but simply an unpredictable outburst from a massive star in its final phase of life. Thankfully, astronomers eventually discovered the truth and the object was given its correct classification as a Type II supernova, resulting from the death of a star between eight and 50 times the mass of the Sun.

Credit:

ESA/Hubble & NASA, A. Filippenko

About the Image

Id:potw2001a
Type:Observation
Release date:6 January 2020, 06:00
Size:4005 x 3738 px

About the Object

Name:NGC 2770
Type:Local Universe : Galaxy : Type : Spiral
Distance:90 million light years
Constellation:Lynx
Category:Galaxies

Image Formats

Large JPEG
7.8 MB
Screensize JPEG
250.2 KB

Zoomable


Wallpapers

1024x768
333.4 KB
1280x1024
586.0 KB
1600x1200
950.6 KB
1920x1200
1.2 MB
2048x1536
1.7 MB

Coordinates

Position (RA):9 9 34.38
Position (Dec):33° 7' 19.30"
Field of view:2.65 x 2.47 arcminutes
Orientation:North is 16.1° right of vertical

Colours & filters

BandWavelengthTelescope
Optical
V
555 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
B
438 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
r
625 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3
Optical
I
814 nm Hubble Space Telescope
WFC3

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